Public Safety

Department of Public Safety

Welcome to the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety website. Working together with the community, the department strives to provide a safe place to live, work, learn, and visit. The men and women of the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety are dedicated to service and committed to excellence.
BRDPS Building

Message from the Director

The Police Division is currently in the process of transitioning from a traditional, professionally modeled agency to one that is focused on a community policing approach. We intend to proactively solve problems in our community rather than simply react to them. We will do this by getting out of our patrol cars to interact with the public and provide the service the residents expect and deserve. We look forward to new initiatives that we are anxious to start.

The Fire Division continues to serve the City of Big Rapids and the Townships of Barton, Green and Norwich. We are a combination department consisting of 9 full time and 17 part paid firefighters. In addition to the above listed areas, we provide medical first response at an emergency medical technician basic level to Grant Township and Colfax Township. The Fire Division enjoys an ISO rating of 4, evidence of our modern fire ground tactics and aggressive training. We will also work to build on community programs such as fire prevention, community CPR, and smoke detector programs.

It is a privilege to serve as the Director of Public Safety for the City of Big Rapids. I began my career in law enforcement with the Grand Rapids Police in 1997 after graduating from Lansing Community College's Police Academy. I found my home here in Big Rapids and have come to realize this is a community of which to be proud. I have been employed with the department for the past 18 years. During this time, I have pursued my education by attending the Ferris State University Master's Program and the Staff and Command School at Eastern University.

My family and I work and attend schools here in the city. I am stakeholder in our community, as your concerns are my concerns. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

James W. Eddinger
Director of Public Safety