Meet the Police Department Team

GVPD encourages victim/survivors of interpersonal violence to report to the police department. GVPD will help whether or not you choose to have a police investigation or prosecution. What happens after you report is your choice. Here are the options for law enforcement involvement: 

  • You can choose to have the current report closed without providing additional information - no investigation
    • You are able to ask for the case to be reopened and investigated at a later date, if you wish. 
  • You can choose to provide additional information such as an interview and/or a written statement, and then have the case closed - no investigation. 
    • You are able to ask for the case to be reopened and investigated at a later date, if you wish.
  • You can choose to keep the case open and move forward with an investigation. 
    • Here is what an investigation typically includes (this is not an exhaustive list)
      • Re-interview with you
      • Re-interview with witnesses
      • Interview with the suspect
      • Once a report is complete, it is sent to the Prosecuting Attorney's office. The Prosecutor decides if there is enough probable cause to issue an arrest warrant. If the warrant is issued, attempts are made to locate and arrest the suspect. Once the suspect is arrested, the court process starts. 

GVPD is available 24/7 to respond to reported incidents. Officers can assist you with contacting the Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity, the Victim Advocate or the Counseling Center, and can arrange transportation to a nurse examiner program if desired. If the incident occurred outside of GVPD's jurisdiction, we can assist in contacting the appropriate agency. All GVPD officers are trained on responding to and investigating interpersonal violence; the officers highlighted below have received additional training on trauma-informed investigations. 

Dial 911 for all emergencies. 

For non-emergent situations, contact GVPD at (616) 331-3255.

Studio Photo of Angela Morrison

Detective Angela Morrison

morrisa1@gvsu.edu

"I start by believing because believing promotes hearing. This is your truth. I am here to help you on your journey. "

Detective Morrison came to GVPD with experience in many different aspects of law enforcement and investigations. She is Forensic Interviewing certified, has done prior crisis intervention legal advocacy work with sexual assault and domestic violence victim/survivors, and co-developed and delivered Domestic Violence 360 training.  

Detective Morrison has also received training in the following specialties:

  • Neurobiology of trauma
  • ACES - Adverse Childhood Effects Study
  • Human Trafficking: What our Campus Needs to Know
  • Roots of Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Batterers and Lethality
  • Intimate Partner Sexual Assault
  • Comprehensive Sexual Assault Investigations from Victim Interview to Prosecution: Never Again a "He-Said, She-Said"

Detective Morrison is available to assist victim/survivors with questions about a law enforcement investigation, or to begin the investigation process if desired. 

 

Sergeant Leah Heaton

heatonl@gvsu.edu
(616) 331-2687

"I am dedicated to investigating these types of crimes on campus and believe in a victim-centered approach. I will work with victim/survivors in any capacity to provide the support and support that is best for the individual." 

Sergeant Leah Heaton has been with the GVSU Police Department for 12 years. She currently oversees the Community Police officers and evening road patrol officers. Sergeant Heaton has attended numerous trainings dealing with interpersonal violence over her career with the department. These trainings have focused on many topics including domestic violence offenders and abusers, strangulation, overcoming defenses used in interpersonal violence cases, and human trafficking. She also attended a week-long trainer development program on sexual and gender based violence in El Paso, TX. If you have a concern or would like to speak with Sergeant Heaton, she can be reached via email or phone. 

Studio Photo of Leah Heaton

Studio Photo of Brittany Howard

Officer Brittany Howard

howarbr@gvsu.edu

"It is difficult enough for a victim/survivor to report these types of crimes, so I try to do whatever I can to help them through this process and let them know I believe them. We have so many resources and people on campus who want to support victim/survivors and empower them."

Officer Howard has been an officer at Grand Valley Police Department since 2016, and has been in the role of Community Police Officer since 2018. She has attended multiple trainings regarding sexual assault over the past few years, most recently: 

  • Sexual Assault Summit: Rethinking Suspect Interviews
  • Comprehensive Sexual Assault Investigations from Victim Interview to Prosecution
  • Fifth Annual: Inform. Empower. Prevent. Let's End Campus Sexual Assault Summit

Officer Howard has also participated in panels, programs and round table discussions across campus. She continues to learn best practices, emphasizing a victim-centered, offender-focused approach to reports of sexual assault and interpersonal violence.