The Hastings Police Department newest officer comes from the Newaygo Police Department, and is expected to fit right in with the department’s strong focus on community policing.
Camerin Spicer, 24, and single, attended the 36- week Law Enforcement Academy at Ferris State University. “I’ve known since I was a teenager that I was going to be in law enforcement. I never changed my mind.”
Now in the mandatory 14-week training period with the department, he said the other officers are “awesome,” offering to help any way they can. “They say ‘don’t hesitate to ask,’ they’re not going to steer me wrong.”
“I am excited to have Camerin as a part of our department,
Police Chief Jeff Pratt said. “In speaking with his former chief I was told about how community-oriented Camerin had been in Newaygo, and I felt like that particular trait would be very helpful here in Hastings.
“Camerin also provides some younger athletic ability which will come in handy against the Police Cadets and the Hastings teachers in our athletic fundraisers,” Pratt said.
Spicer said he enjoys foot patrol in the city and meeting people and business owners in town.
One of the best experiences in Newaygo was driving into the elementary school, he said. “All the kids come running up to the cruiser. Passing out stickers was one of my favorite parts; the kids love them. I’ve still got some in my pocket. I do like kids.”
Working with kids on their level was something he saw in Newaygo. When a little girl was hiding under a bench and wouldn’t come out, the officer laid down on the ground to talk to her. “That’s awesome police work. There is so much you can do in this field,” he said.
His explained his approach to law enforcement.
“It’s not all about jail; it’s to help people through the good times and the bad times. Not everyone has to go to jail…sometimes there are other things you can do to help, show them a different path…still it’s my job and I’ll do it if it’s necessary; some people will go to jail. In my opinion, that may even be help in a way. If they learn something, it’s help.”
Spicer plans to be in Hastings PD for a long time. “I don’t job hop, I’m ready for the long term. If I like a place I’ll stick with it.”
Photo: Hastings Police Officer Camerin Spicer.