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GRPD announces first female deputy chief of police

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The city of Grand Rapids is celebrating another glass ceiling broken, announcing Kristen Rogers as the new Deputy Chief of Police. Rogers is the first-ever female to hold the position in Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) history.

Her promotion comes on the heels of many “firsts” for the city, including it’s first African American Chief of Police, Eric Payne, and first female Mayor, Rosalynn Bliss. In a news release to WGVU, Payne said it is “a very exciting time,” adding, “Not only is Deputy Chief Rogers making history by being the first woman to hold the position, she is a talented and experienced leader who will serve Grand Rapids well in the years to come.”

Rogers is a Wisconsin native and studied at Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology. She joined GPRD in 1996 where she climbed through the ranks, starting as a patrol officer and eventually being promoted to captain. She credits part of her success to the female officers serving alongside her.

“We had two previous female captains I was the third and I’m the first deputy chief. I owe it to those girls for really paving the way, but I’ve also never let gender define my career. We all took the same oath. We all wear the same uniform, so I just to more so look I guess at all the unique characteristics people bring to the table,” Rogers said.

Rogers replaces former Deputy Chief David Kiddle, who is retiring from the department after 28 years of service. When asked what her plans are for the city, she told WGVU she wanted to create a better partnership with the community.

“I think it’s important that people stand up now. Whether you’re male, female, different ethnicities, strong leadership is needed,” Rogers said.

Her words come as Grand Rapids faces a record-breaking year for homicides and ongoing protests for police reform.

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