Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS), located in Kalamazoo, Mich., protects the citizens of Kalamazoo. With 303 employees, the Department prefers to hire both veterans and current military members. In fact, veteran status elevates a potential employee in the hiring process. KDPS has a strong commitment to caring for its Guard and Reserve employees, complete with its own Family Support Group. When a deployed KDPS officer was severely wounded by a grenade exploding in his right hand, KDPS flew a contingency of officers to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be with the officer and support his family while they relocated to Washington, D.C. for his recovery. When the service member returned to work, unable to use his right hand, the Department trained the officer to shoot left-handed, so he could keep the same job he had before he left. Army Reserve Master Sergeant Robert Christensen nominated the employer for the Freedom Award because of the support he witnessed for his fellow military employees and the KDPS’ treatment of him when he was deployed, sending care packages, staying in touch on a weekly basis, and providing a special homecoming. “The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety actively supports their Guard and Reserve employees and makes it easy for us to serve both the Department and our Nation,” said Christensen.