Sheriff's Office

Investigative Division

Captain Jake Sparks
12220 Fillmore Street
West Olive, MI 49460
Phone: (616) 738-4003
FAX: (616) 738-4061

The Investigative Division is comprised of one captain, one sergeant, 13 detectives, 2 deputies (assigned as Friend of the Court Investigators), a Crime Data Analyst, and a Forensic Sciences/Evidence Technician.

Detectives investigate a variety of major cases including homicide, criminal sexual conduct, assault, major theft, white-collar crime, suicide, arson, breaking and entering, and auto thefts.

The Sheriff's Office continues to work with the Ottawa County Children's Advocacy Center, located in Holland. The center deals with physical abuse and sexual assault cases involving victims thirteen years of age or less. The center's staff includes both medical and professional therapist components that provide young persons with needed treatment. The Sheriff's Office has two, and sometimes more, detectives assigned to the center depending on caseloads.

The Investigative Division also includes the Ottawa County Friend of the Court Investigators. The deputies who are assigned to these positions assist the Friend of the Court with the collection of past due child support obligations and arrest those who the courts have ruled are negligent in their support obligation.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office participates with other West Michigan law enforcement agencies in the West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET). WEMET's purpose is to enforce all narcotics law violations and coordinate multi-jurisdictional investigations dealing with narcotics trafficking. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has one sergeant and five deputies assigned to the WEMET cooperative.

The Forensic Sciences/Evidence Technician performs detailed and technical identification work involving latent print processing, still and video photography, crime scene searches, preservation of crime scene evidence, and the operation of technical forensic equipment. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office also began use of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is the second sheriff's office in the State of Michigan to have this technology.

Detectives continue to attend yearly training seminars involving major case investigation, sexual assault, legal updates, and areas of investigative specialization.

In addition to their normal duties, detectives also make presentations to area businesses, schools, and civic groups. Topics include such issues as fraud, embezzlement, violence in the workplace, gang-related activity, and other areas of community interest.