Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard C. Fuller, III has announced his appointment of Operations Division Captain James Vandyken as undersheriff, effective immediately, to replace retiring Undersheriff Paul Matyas.
Vandyken, 47, has lived in the Schoolcraft area his entire life, graduating from Schoolcraft High School before attending Grand Valley State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
He graduated from the KVCC Police Academy in 1991 and graduated from the 252 FBI Academy in 2013. Vandyken began his career at the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office in Jan. 1991 as a corrections deputy assigned to the Jail Division until 1995 when he began an assignment as a patrol deputy where he served as an evidence technician and field training officer.
In 2001, Vandyken was promoted to detective sergeant; in 2008, he was promoted to lieutenant of the Investigations Section, and in 2009 was assigned lieutenant of the Field Operations Division when the sheriff’s office restructured. In April 2016, he was named captain of the Field Operations Division where he served until this appointment.
Vandyken’s parents are James and Jan Vandyken from Schoolcraft. His father is a retired captain with the KCSO. Vandyken has two children, Jason and Justin, both attending college. He will work on transition with Undersheriff Paul Matyas until Matyas' retirement on Oct. 6.