DeWitt Police: Ride Along With Officer Walter Grysen

At over six feet tall Walter Grysen strikes and imposing figure in his uniform.  However,

as soon as he opens his mouth he exudes friendliness and joviality.  Grysen has been with the

DeWitt Police for 22 years.  During his time as a part-time officer he has also served as the

DeWitt Fire Marshall and owned his own business.

            Grysen has been living in the area all of his life.  Before he came to DeWitt he had grown

up in Grand Haven.  “He has got a business on the side.  He lives right here, his house in up on

the hill [only three lots away from the police station],” said Lieutenant Dan Flint.

            The first thing that Grysen does when he comes in for his shift, usually from five to nine

Monday through Thursday, he looks over complaints that have been called in.  Sometimes he has

a closed or open-door meeting with the lieutenant or the chief.  “It’s never good when you see a

complaint twice, it means that you have further work to do or you did something wrong the first

time,” said Grysen.

            After the meeting with either of the officers Grysen hits the road, at which time he calls

everyone who has made a complaint that day.  One of the complaints he received was from a

woman who is trying to sell her house but feels that the unkempt yard next is the reason for her

inability to make a sale.  However, there is nothing illegal going, Grysen tells her that her best

bet is to just talk to her neighbors.

            Next, Grysen will try to stop any cars on the road who have one head light out.  “I like to

stop people who have a headlight out. I will either give them a fix-it ticket, where they can get

the ticket reversed if they fix the headlight within a certain amount of time,” said Grysen.  One of

the cars that was stopped actually had the new headlight in the back seat so Grysen let him go. 

“Who knows how long he has had that headlight in the car, he may have had it for months.” 

Another one of the cars that Grysen pulled over had a driver that was operating a vehicle with a

suspended license.  The driver had multiple DUIs and was not supposed to be operating a vehicle

except for work.  The man was going to a wake so Grysen let him go.  However, he followed the

driver to the wake to check out his story.  “If he had been lieing about his destination I would

have had to arrest him for driving with a suspended license,” said Grysen.

            There was also a few minutes of excitement when a call came over the radio that said

there was a drunk-driver who was on the highway and had just thrown a bottle of alcohol out of

the window.  However, before Grysen could get to the scen she had been taken into custody.

            Finally, Grysen pulls into an empty parking lot next to a part where he uses the in-car

radar unit to clock the cars speed.  “There is a 15-over threshhold that most departments follow,

we don’t give anyone a ticket unless they are going 15-over.”

            Before becoming a police officer, Grysen got his associates degree in law enforecement

from Lansing Community College as well as a bachelor’s from Northwood University.  After

college Grysen worked as a Macomb County Park Ranger from 1983-’87, while in 1986 he

started working part time for DeWitt.

            Being a police officer is in Grysen’s blood, his dad was the sherrif of Ingham county. 

His family lived in an apartment above the sherrif’s station.  “I made traffic stops at three in the

back of [my dad’s] car,” said Grysen.  Grysen also has a brother who works in homocide in

Houston, another brother who is a doctor and a lawyer in Grand Haven and a sister who helps

him with his business in Tuson.

            Grysen started his business in 1985.  His business is to supply badges to officers around

the country.  He does badges for the sherrif’s office, state police, local police and even the DEA. 

            Grysen has been married for 11 years to his wife Lisa.  He also has two step daughters,

ages 21 and 22, who live in the area.

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