Q. Where can I find out more about the new texting while driving law?

A. As of July 1, 2010, the Michigan statute prohibiting texting while driving goes into effect. It is a primary stop violation and may result in a civil infraction, with a fine up to $100.00 for the first offense and $200.00 for the second offense. For more information on the new law, go to the Michigan Legislature site.

Q. What if I would like to submit a comment on my experience with your department?

A. The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety is committed to providing the best service possible. One way to ensure we are doing this is by soliciting feedback from community members regarding the level of service we provide. If you would like to submit a comment or complaint regarding your experience with our department please go to Compliment Formor Complaint Form.

Q. How do I find out if someone is on the Sex Offender Registry?

A. GHDPS assists the State of Michigan in keeping an up-to-date registry. To view the registry or search for a particular person, go to the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

Q. What if I want to report a crime but want to remain anonymous?

A. Contact Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT(745368). Or go to the Silent Observer website.

Q. How can I obtain a copy of a traffic crash or police report that occurred in the City of Grand Haven?

A. See our reports page.

Q. How can I obtain a copy of my criminal history record, or have a background check completed on myself for employment purposes?

A. All requests for background checks must be made in person at GHDPS. You must present a valid Michigan identification and complete a background check form. A local records check only will be run. We do not run criminal histories. You may obtain a Michigan criminal history report by visiting the State of Michigan’s ICHAT site. The fee is $10.00.

Q. How do I obtain fingerprints required for employment?

A. First, determine if the employer requires digital or ink fingerprints. Our department does not provide digital fingerprinting. You can obtain digital fingerprints through the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. If ink prints are required, please bring in the fingerprint cards that the employer supplied. The fee for this service is $15.00.

Q. What are the requirements for purchasing a handgun?

A. See our forms/permits page.

Q. How can I contest a parking ticket?

A. Please see the Parking Ticket Appeals Procedure.

Q. If my car was impounded in Grand Haven, how can I get my car back?

A. Contact GHDPS Records Division at (616) 842-3460 or report in person to GHDPS. If it is determined that your car was in fact impounded by our agency we will require the following:

1. A valid Michigan identification
2. Proof of ownership of the vehicle
3. Proof of insurance
4. You must possess a valid driver’s license or have someone with you to drive the vehicle that possesses a valid driver’s license.
5. There is a $50.00 impound release fee to be paid to GHDPS. Please be advised that the towing company has additional fees for their services that must be paid before they will release the vehicle.

Q. How do I report a crime?

A. Call 9-1-1. Even if it is not an emergency, it is acceptable in Ottawa County to contact 9-1-1 for any police, fire, medical or related issues. If you prefer not to use 9-1-1, you may call the non-emergency number at 1-800-249-0911.

Q. How can I obtain a Personal Protection Order?

A. PPOs must be obtained through Ottawa County Circuit Court. For more information on where to go and how to file for a PPO go to miottawa.org.

Q. Where can I hunt in Grand Haven?

A. Hunting is prohibited in the City of Grand Haven.

Q. Can I have a recreational fire in my yard?

A. Recreational fires are allowed in the City of Grand Haven as long as they meet the following criteria:

An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.

Q. What if there is a wild animal on my property?

A. GHDPS does not normally take care of wild animals. We recommend you contact Lakeshore Wildlife Removal at (616) 394-5313.

Q. What if there is a stray domestic animal on my property?

A. Call Ottawa County Central Dispatch at 1-800-249-0911 and ask for Animal Control.

Q. What are the fines for traffic citations?

A. GHDPS does not set the fees for traffic citations. Please contact the Ottawa County 58th District Court at (616) 846-8282.

Q. How can I get a fire extinguisher recharged?

A. GHDPS does not recharge extinguishers, but there is a local company that does. Lake Welding located at 530 Elm Street #B in Spring Lake can assist with this matter.

Q. How can I learn more about the Smoke Free Law and who enforces it?

A. The law regarding a smoke free environment is handled by the Michigan Department of Community Health. You can call 1-866-59-SMOKE or go to their website. A local resource is the Ottawa County Health Department, they can be reached at (616) 846-8360 or visit their website at miottawa.org.

Q. Who can I call to find out if someone is in jail?

A. Call the Ottawa County Sheriff Department Jail at (616) 786-4140 or go to the OCSD website at miottawa.org.