Craig Holbrook is New Plainfield Township Community Policing Officer
Meet Craig Holbrook, the new Kent County Sheriff Office’s Plainfield Township Community Policing Officer. Holbrook took over in July for Mandy Bernal-Hill who retired. Before coming to Plainfield Township, Holbrook worked for four years as a Kent County Sheriff’s road patrol officer. Holbrook said community policing is different from being a road patrol officer.
“Road patrol responds to calls,” said Holbrook. “As a community policing officer, I work directly with Township issues. I’m not primarily a call taker.”
Holbrook helps road patrol by getting a firsthand knowledge of incidents and crime impacting Plainfield Township, getting to the root cause of problems, and determining the best response. He is a communication link between law enforcement and Township government, schools, churches, businesses, and organization leaders.
Holbrook said he is a hands-on person and enjoys interacting with people, so community policing is a good fit for him. He said community policing is important in a community.
“The image of law enforcement is not great,” he said. “Some people haven’t interacted with police, some are afraid of police, some don’t like police because of images they’ve seen on social media.”
A community police officer dedicated to a community helps build relations with the community. Holbrook hosts “Coffee with a Cop” every Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Rogue River Park, 6300 Belshire Ave NE in Belmont. Holbrook provides coffee and talks with residents about how to prevent and reduce crime in their neighborhoods, answers questions about recent incidents in the area, and listens to concerns. Anyone is welcome to attend and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Holbrook said he will host watch programs like National Night Out, and partner with mobile home and apartment managers, the Northeast Business Association, and other community organizations.
Holbrook is from the Milwaukee, WI area. He attended college briefly after high school, then decided on the Army where he served for four years as a military policeman. After the Army he went to Grand Rapids Community College for a semester and then attended Grand Valley State University where he graduated in the Police Academy.
Holbrook and his wife Daryann live in Allendale. They have a two-year-old daughter Brynlee and are expecting their second child. When he’s not working, Holbrook likes to work out and do “just about anything outdoors.”