Hastings newest police officer, Julissa Kelly, has three years experience and comes to Hastings from the Kalamazoo Township Police Department. Now in a 14-week training program that is part of a year’s probation, Kelly lives in Middleville with her accountant husband, Tim.
Kelly decided to switch her career path in college when she determined that aerospace engineering was not her calling, that policing better fit her, “personality-wise.” A graduate of the police academy at Kalamazoo Community College, she never re-considered the decision. “I knew what I signed up for. Our class was large, 32 people; only two dropped out.”
Areas Kelly is interested in applying for after probation are working with kids in school liaison, or as an instructor in field training, fire arms, or defensive tactics. “We’ll try to match our needs and her desires," Chief Jeff Pratt said. “She has to fall into a regular schedule of hours and shifts…we’ll find something.”
Kelly already fits in with department’s commitment to community policing. Hastings is more community-oriented than her last position with more activities available, she said. “I like watching people; they’re very interesting…I like the atmosphere here; the city is well run and well maintained. I used to hang out here…and I have family in the area.”
On the job since Oct.10, she has already been recruited to play in the Cops vs. Cadets flag football game this Sunday.
Part of her training will be learning the Hastings Police Department’s ways, Pratt said. “Every police department is different, our systems, procedures, the streets.”
Kelly said she’s ready. “I have a year on probation to learn all I need to know.”
Photo: Hasting’s newest police officer, Julissa Kelly