Kent Co. task force rounds up domestic violence suspects

domestic violence task force
Members of a multi-agency task force aimed at fighting domestic violence. (Oct. 19, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — More than 20 arrests were made in Kent County Wednesday as part of a multi-agency law enforcement effort to crack down on domestic violence — one of the crimes officers say gets to them the most.

24 Hour News 8 got an inside look at the process, riding along with Kent County Sheriff’s Department Detective Sgt. Rick Coxon as he and several teams set out to track down suspects with outstanding warrants for domestic violence and child support.

“I mean, we always want to pick people up on warrants, but these are good ones just because we want to get them off the streets so they don’t go and beat up this person again,” Coxon said.

domestic violence task force
Members of a multi-agency task force aimed at fighting domestic violence. (Oct. 19, 2016)

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department, FBI, Grandville and Wyoming police and several other agencies took part in the effort. In a circle, officers and deputies laid out the plan, discussing logistics before knocking on the door of one suspect with an outstanding warrant.

“Just always wonder why are just keeping on going back to this house? You just got beat, now we’re back again at this house. But whoever it is, they have a real hard time breaking that connection,” Coxon said.

“Often, that’s just not something that they’re either capable or unfortunately even kind of willing to do because it’s somebody that they care about,” sheriff’s department Road Patrol Capt. David Kok said.

He said that’s why it’s so important for agencies in Kent County and elsewhere to help break the unhealthy and sometimes deadly cycle by holding the abusers accountable.

“Domestic violence happens every shift. Every patrol shift that our officers work, they respond to numerous domestic complaints — many of which are only verbal and we can’t do anything about those,” Kok said.

He said there may be signs of abuse, but without hard evidence of the crime, officers can’t make an arrest.

In total, 23 arrests were made during with 119 attempts to serve outstanding warrants. Though not every knock ended in a success, but the effort to bring justice isn’t over.