City of Kentwood Promotes Stephanie Morningstar to Deputy Police Chief

City of Kentwood Promotes Stephanie Morningstar to Deputy Police Chief

Deputy Chief Morningstar headshotThe City of Kentwood has promoted Stephanie Morningstar to deputy police chief.

Previously a captain in the Kentwood Police Department’s Services Division, Morningstar succeeds Bryan Litwin, who was promoted to police chief Dec. 7.

As deputy chief, Morningstar is responsible for assisting with the planning, coordination and management of the City’s police, code enforcement and traffic engineering functions and staff.

“Deputy Chief Morningstar brings exceptional leadership, communication and strategic planning skills as well as more than 20 years of experience with the Kentwood Police Department to her new role,” Chief Litwin said. “Her expertise in the department’s investigative, patrol and training efforts will be invaluable as we continue to focus on reducing serious crime, increasing traffic safety and serving the community with excellence.”

Morningstar started her career in Canton Township before accepting a position with Kentwood in 2000. She served as a patrol officer, general case detective, patrol sergeant and detective sergeant before becoming the department’s first female captain in 2018.

As the former captain of the Services Division, Morningstar oversaw the Detective Bureau, Special Investigations Unit and Records Bureau, as well as Police and Court building maintenance, operations and security. Additionally, she has provided guidance and instruction at major crime scenes and conducted complaint investigations to ensure quality customer service.

“I am honored to be deputy chief of the Kentwood Police Department and serve our community in this role,” Morningstar said. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to deliver professional police services and partnering with residents and other community members to make sure Kentwood is a wonderful place for everyone.”

During her tenure with the City of Kentwood, Morningstar has taught precision emergency vehicle response driving to police academy recruits at Grand Rapids Community College since 2007. She also developed and presented lectures on death investigations at the Grand Valley State University Police Academy from 2014-18.

Morningstar serves on several specialized units, including the Kent County Child Death Review Board, Sexual Assault Response Team, Adult Mobile Crisis Unit and Human Trafficking Coalition Coordinated Response Team. She is also a Kentwood District Court Sobriety Court advisor.

With a dedication to continual professional development, Morningstar has completed numerous trainings in different types of interviewing, interrogations and investigations, as well as critical incident stress management and peer support. She has also completed leadership programs through the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and Grand Rapids Police Department Leadership Institute.

Morningstar graduated from Grand Valley State University and GVSU Police Academy in 1996 with a degree in criminal justice.