Inside agreement: GR officer suspended after crash response

Undated courtesy photo of Adam Ickes.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids police officer who was facing possible termination for his response to a former prosecutor’s alcohol-related crash will keep his job.

The city of Grand Rapids reached an agreement with the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association on Friday to suspend Officer Adam Ickes for 30 days without pay.

>>Full disciplinary agreement (pdf)

A photo from the scene of a crash involving a Kent County assistant prosecutor, provided by the victim. (Nov. 19, 2016)
A photo from the scene of a crash involving a Kent County assistant prosecutor, provided by the victim. (Nov. 19, 2016)

Ickes accepted the punishment and took responsibility for his role in the Nov. 19 crash involving former Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Kuiper, according to a press release from the city.

Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom told Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and city commission about the decision Friday morning. Sundstrom said Ickes’ disciplinary agreement was “made swiftly with strong resolve for the benefit of the City of Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the community.”

Left to right: Lt. Matthew Janiskee, Sgt. Thomas Warwick, and Officer Adam Ickes.
Left to right: Lt. Matthew Janiskee, Sgt. Thomas Warwick, and Officer Adam Ickes.

Ickes, Sgt. Thomas Warwick and Lt. Matthew Janiskee were suspended without pay on Jan. 27, about two months after Kuiper’s head-on wrong way crash on Union Avenue SE. It’s unclear if that prior suspension will count towards the 30-day suspension Ickes agreed to on Friday.

The traffic crash report written by Ickes shows that alcohol was a factor in the crash and body camera footage shows Kuiper slurring his words following the wreck. In a phone call recording obtained by the city that was detailed in a lawsuit filing, Ickes told Janiskee  “this crash out here is Josh Kuiper from the prosecutor’s office that’s hammered, going the wrong way on Union and (inaudible) a parked car.”

But the report states Kuiper was able to “perform well on the alphabet and hand dexterity.”

Kuiper was not given a breathalyzer test. Instead, he received a ticket for driving the wrong way down a one-way street and Warwick drove Kuiper to a nearby home.

Kuiper, who has since resigned from the prosecutor’s office, is being charged with reckless driving causing serious injury and moving violation causing injury. He’s also being sued by Daniel Empson, who owns the car Kuiper struck and was injured in the wrong-way crash.

Grand Rapids Police Department Chief David Rahinsky said he would not comment on Ickes’ suspension agreement until final decisions are made in the cases of the other two officers.

Termination hearings for Warwick and Janiskee are scheduled for Feb. 23 and March 7, respectively. None of the officers will face criminal charges.