The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley announced today that he has accepted the position of Chief with the Chatham County (Georgia) Police Department. Chief Hadley’s last day with Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Safety will be November 22.
“I want to thank Chief Hadley for his nine years of dedicated service to the Kalamazoo community,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “His leadership has left KDPS a better organization and Kalamazoo a better City. I have no doubt he will continue to have this effect in Chatham County Georgia and in other communities as he continues his career.”
Mr. Ritsema will appoint Kalamazoo’s Deputy Chief Karianne Thomas to the position of Public Safety Chief immediately upon Jeff Hadley’s departure.
“Deputy Chief Thomas is a distinguished leader with experience in all aspects of law enforcement,” said City Manager Ritsema. “She has consistently been recognized throughout her career for her professionalism, effectiveness, and dedication to service, and earns the confidence and admiration of all of her colleagues.”
Deputy Chief Thomas is a 23-year veteran of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and fills integral roles at both KDPS and the administration of the City of Kalamazoo. Her career at KDPS has included serving as a Public Safety Officer, Crime Lab Technician, Detective Bureau Sergeant, Drug Enforcement Officer, and Inspector in the Office of Professional Standards. She has also been personally involved in hiring over half of the Department’s current sworn officers and served as Interim Human Resources Director for the City administration.
While at KDPS, Deputy Chief Thomas has received nine commendations from four different Public Safety Chiefs and received the KDPS Professional Excellence Award in 2006. In 2015 she was recognized by the Kalamazoo YWCA as a Woman of Achievement.
Deputy Chief Thomas graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and from Ferris State University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She attended the FBI National Academy in 2014 and is a veteran of the United States Army where she attained the rank of Captain. She is married with two adult children.
“It is an honor to serve this community alongside the men and women of KDPS,” said Deputy Chief Thomas, “and we will continue to work tirelessly each day to protect and serve the people of Kalamazoo.”
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is the country’s largest combined public safety organization. Deputy Chief Thomas’s appointment to the position of Public Safety Chief will mark the first time a female has held the position in Kalamazoo.