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My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year | Business

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My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year
Business, News, People
My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year


The Grand Rapids Police Department is pleased to announce its Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year for 2014. Officer Joshua Mollan and Cynthia Vanderberg were selected from nominations submitted to the Department’s Board of Awards by Service Area, Division, and Unit Commanders.


Officer Joshua Mollan

Officer Joshua Mollan was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he attended Catholic CentralHigh School. Officer Mollan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University and began his tenure with the Grand Rapids Police Department as an officer in August 1996. OfficerMollan has worked in a few areas of the department, including on 2nd and 3rd Shift Patrol in the South Service Area and as a member of the Vice Unit and then the Detective Unit, as a member of the General Case Team. Officer Mollan has been working in his current assignment as a Community Police Officer in the East Service since September 2012, mainly focusing on the Burton Heights and Garfield Park neighborhoods. Officer Mollan has also held additional duty assignments that include working as a Background Investigator, Emergency Vehicle Operations Instructor, and a Field Training Officer. Throughout his tenure with the Department, Officer Mollan has earned a Team Performance Award, a Meritorious Unit Citation, two Certificates of Recognition, andnumerous Letters of Recognition.

Officer Mollan is married to Margo, who is an officer with the Wyoming Police Department, and their familyincludes four children, Darby (16), Drew (14), Fletcher (3), and Beckett (1). In his off time, Josh enjoys spending time with his family and is involved with his kids in their sports and school activities. He also plays in a band and is a member of a local Knights of Columbus, while serving there in a youth leader role. A bona fide avid “Indoorsman”, Josh is a founding member of #snowcasters.

The following officers were also nominated for Police Officer of the Year by their commanding officers:

  • Officer Curtis Creighton – North Service Area
  • Officer Terry Dixon – Support Services Division
  • Officer Michael Mesman – Vice Unit
  • Officer Kyle Preslar – Special Response Team
  • Officer Ernest Stafford - West
  • Officer Douglas Stevens – South Service Area
  • Officer Stephen Wiersema – Detective Unit
  • This year’s Civilian Employee of the Year recipient is Cynthia Vanderberg, Administrative Secretary in the Police Chief's Office.


Cynthia Vanderberg

Cindy Vanderberg was born in Lansing, Michigan, and raised in Muskegon. After graduating from Reeths-Puffer High School, Ms. Vanderberg attended Ferris State University, where she graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree, in Legal Administration. After moving to Grand Rapids, Ms. Vanderberg began her career path in the administrative field by working at Foremost Insurance, before being hired by Meijer. She worked at the Meijer Corporate Office, in administrative capacities, for 21 years, before applying for the Administrative Secretary position in the Police Chief’s Office, where she began her tenure with the City of Grand Rapids in September 2002. She has not only worked for three police chiefs, but during 2014, she helped with the seamless transition between two of them, with Chief Kevin Belk’s retirement and subsequent administration changes to Interim Police Chief Daniel Savage and then to Chief David Rahinsky, who began in July 2014. Ms. Vanderberg takes the term “Administrative Secretary “ to a whole new level, with the commitment and support she offers in the Police Chief’s Office and for others in the department. She is an extremely dedicated employee who cares deeply for the GRPD, and for the people who serve with her.

Cindy is very supportive of different organizations within the city, and those charities within our own department are something that she holds close to her heart, including the Thin Blue Line of Michigan and the Police Unity Tour. Outside of work, Cindy enjoys getting together with friends, gardening, reading, spending time at the beach, playing golf and Euchre, and bike riding with her husband of almost 38 years, Scott.

The awards were formally presented to the recipients at the Grand Rapids Police Department’s 32nd annual Awards Dinner, which was held Monday Feb. 23, in the Pantlind Ballroom at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.






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