Grand Valley alumna hired as new police chief

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Vice President for Finance and Administration Jim Bachmeier announced that local law enforcement veteran and Grand Valley alumna Renee Freeman will take over as director of Public Safety and police chief. She replaces Barb Bergers who retired at the end of June.

Freeman currently is a lieutenant in the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. She has spent 27 years in Grand Haven, working her way up from an officer position. She was with the Police Academy at Grand Valley for 14 years, working as an adjunct faculty and for one year as the assistant director of the academy.

“We had a pool of highly qualified candidates from which to choose our new chief,” Bachmeier said. “We are fortunate to get someone who is highly experienced and well connected to local law enforcement agencies as well as the Grand Valley community. Renee is bringing a lot of energy and ideas to campus.”

Freeman is also certified as a fire officer from the Michigan Office of Firefighter Training and as a medical first responder from the Michigan Department of Community Health. She received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from Grand Valley in 2004. 

“I am very much looking forward to joining Grand Valley State University in the capacity of police chief,” Freeman said. “The opportunity to return to campus and work with such a reputable group of individuals is exciting. It will be a privilege to serve the students and staff at Grand Valley and work with my colleagues to provide a safe learning and living environment.” 

Freeman begins her duties on September 30.