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Area law enforcement shows support for Kalamazoo police officer diagnosed with cancer

KDPS Officer Diagnosed with Cancer
Posted at 3:15 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 06:14:23-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Grand Rapids hospital saw quite the public safety presence.

It was all to show support for one of their own, a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) officer who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

"We’re greatly appreciative of the support that our area law enforcement and fire departments have shown towards us," said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Captain of Operations Scott VanderEnde.

Outside Spectrum Health on Wednesday night, police cruisers and fire trucks lit up the sky for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officer battling cancer.

"I spoke with the officer this morning, and he relayed his deep appreciation for it, and how much it meant for him for him and his family to be able to see that," said Capt. VanderEnde.

KDPS said law enforcement communities are a tight-knit group, even in tough times.

"Tremendous appreciation for Kent County Sheriff's Office, they kind of took the lead on this. They reached out to us said, ‘Hey, this is something we'd like to do’. We said, ‘Great, let's do it’, and they took lead on it," said Capt. VanderEnde.

The Kent County Sheriff's Office said the idea was modeled after "Project Night Lights" for kids at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

Their K-9 team leader and assistant team lead helped get the word out.

“The police K-9 community is a tight knit group and frequently train together.  Much more than regular patrol officers. KCSO K9 team, among others, just wants to support the KDPS Officer as he goes through some difficult times," said Kent County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Eric Brunner.

KDPS said around 75 cars and trucks showed up from agencies all over West Michigan.

"When other agencies have had stuff happen, Kalamazoo has been able to reach out to them and help. It's kind of like, there’s this understanding that will be there in the time of need and in every agency has always done it for us and we'll continue to do for them as well," said Capt. VanderEnde.