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Grand Rapids Police Department

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is considering a full investigation into the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The department held two public hearings Thursday to hear from residents, and most of the testimonies painted the police in a negative light.

Grand Rapids Police Department station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids police department has placed one of its senior commanders on administrative leave.

The city says it’s reviewing the actions of GRPD captain Curt VanderKooi in a case that led to a U.S. citizen being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A Grand Rapids City Commission meeting had to end early last night, after protestors disrupted the meeting.

The protestors, organized by Movimiento Cosecha GR, called on the city to end all police cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

“ICE and cops go hand in hand,” dozens of protestors shouted, while standing in front of commission members.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez


photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is changing its policy on cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Grand Rapids Police Department station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The City Commission unanimously voted to hire Public Sector Search and Consulting at a meeting Tuesday.

PSSC has done work in big cities like Seattle, Dallas, and San Francisco, but also has worked in smaller cities like Albany and Syracuse.

Grand Rapids police chief and city manager
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Chief of Police officially announced his retirement Thursday.

David Rahinsky has been a police officer for more than 30 years, and has been chief in Grand Rapids since July 2014.

Grand Rapids Police Department station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Police Department updated its Youth Interactions Policy on Monday.

The previous policy was made after officers handcuffed and arrested an unarmed 11 year old black girl last December.

police car
Matt Popovich / Unsplash

 

Today, did the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ignore a staff scientist’s warnings about PFAS contamination in 2012? Plus, the chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department tells us how he plans to implement changes to reduce racial bias following a task force’s review of the department. 

Residents standing outside police station
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids residents gathered on Sunday to talk to the police chief and other city officials about incidents involving innocent and unarmed black kids being put in handcuffs or held at gunpoint.

Community members showed up outside the Grand Rapids Police Department downtown to protest the department's actions, but it later became an open community forum to talk with representatives from the department and the city commission.

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Could more cultural awareness help the Grand Rapids Police Department? The Grand Rapids Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force thinks so.

The task force, which was designed to help repair the department’s relationship with the community, offered 38 recommendations to The Grand Rapids City Commission Tuesday morning.

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Police Department released body cam footage Friday of a stop involving two unarmed 11-year old black boys.

The video shows several police cars stopping three young men on the city’s southeast side. The oldest boy is 17 years old, while the others are 11 year-old twin brothers.

Grand Rapids Police Department station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids police want to hear what high school students have to say. So the department is asking 25 students to join its Youth Advisory Council this fall.

The city’s Chief of Police says it’s important to get the youth perspective on issues. And that’s exactly what the IMPACT group looks to accomplish.

The council will meet once a month at 1 Monroe Center St NW. Students can share their experiences and thoughts about law enforcement in their community.

The department has been doing a lot to change their image within the community.

Grand Rapids Police Department
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Police Department wants to rebuild trust with the community. So it started a pilot program that it hopes will help do that.

The department is using principles from a book called The Speed of Trust to bridge the gap between community members and itself.

Eric Payne, the deputy chief of police in Grand Rapids, says communication between police and community is most important.

“Once we establish that, I think that’s where relationships get built, and then trust comes from that,” Payne said.

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Black residents in Grand Rapids have thought for decades that the city’s police targeted them unfairly. But a traffic study released last year put some data behind these long-held beliefs.

Grand Rapids Police Department
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Police Department announce new Youth Interactions Policy for its officers.

This after a year which saw two incidents where officers held young black kids at gunpoint, one of whom was an 11-year-old girl walking out of a family member's house

The policy lists age, mental capacity and any previous interactions with the law as things officers should take into account when dealing with youths.

A Grand Rapids police officer standing at a table with a microphone
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Some Grand Rapids residents want to see more police engagement in the community. That’s what they told the Grand Rapids Task Force on Policies and Procedures at a public meeting last night.

The task force is using an outside consulting firm to review the department’s policies to reduce implicit racial bias. One of the earliest recommendations made to the task force was to hold public meetings.

Grand Rapids Police Department
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Some Grand Rapids community members want the city to adopt a national violence prevention program.

Cure Violence is a program used to combat gun violence in several major cities like Chicago, Baltimore and New York.

The idea is simple, people in communities affected by gun violence mediate issues between people within their community.

Charlie Ransford, Director of Science and Policy with Cure Violence, says the program views gun violence as a health crisis instead of a crime problem.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Grand Rapids Police Department says it will not discipline the officers involved in handcuffing an innocent black girl earlier this month.

The department launched an internal investigation after the 11-year old-girl was held at gunpoint, searched and handcuffed at her home.

Grand Rapids Police Department
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Community members are speaking out about the latest incident of police using abusive force in Grand Rapids.

Last week, an innocent 11-year-old black girl was held at gunpoint, searched, and handcuffed.

Police
J J / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Grand Rapids Police Department wanted to mirror the community it serves. Now, the most diverse recruiting class in years has been sworn in.

Dave Rahinsky, chief of police for the Grand Rapids Police Department, says the diversity was intentional.

Grand Rapids Police Department
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Police Department wants a better relationship with the community it serves -- so it sought out a task force to review its policies.

The department volunteered for this review after a study released earlier this year found some racial disparities in traffic stops.

Community members talk about policing in Grand Rapids at the first of five scheduled public meetings scheduled for June.
Dustin Dwyer

Police department leaders and elected city officials in Grand Rapids listened quietly today at the first public meeting to discuss police and community relations. 

It was the first of five scheduled public meetings on the topic. The meetings came about in part because of a study released in April that showed Grand Rapids police pull over black and Hispanic drivers at disproportionate rates compared to whites. And, there was an incident in March in which a police officer held five unarmed black boys at gun point.

Grand Rapids Police Department station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The city of Grand Rapids launches a series of public meetings today on police- community relations.

The meetings come after a study showed Grand Rapids police disproportionately pulled over black and Hispanic drivers in the city compared to whites.

As Michigan Radio reported when the study came out:

The study took into account the demographics of drivers at 20 intersections. 

Police Officer
Matthew Sutherland / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The city of Grand Rapids has been working on trying to find ways to make sure police officers are not treating citizens unequally and improving relations with the community.

The city has been working to implement a so-called 12-point plan, something that’s been in the works for a couple of years.

But, a recent traffic stop report indicated its officers are treating people of color differently than white citizens, arresting them more frequently. Then, there was the recent incident about an officer pulling his weapon on five unarmed African-American boys.

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky joined Stateside to discuss.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A prosecutor has determined that Grand Rapids police were justified in the death of an 18-year-old man who was involved in a shootout with officers.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker also released police in-car camera and officer body camera footage Tuesday of the May 3 confrontation with Malik Carey.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A controversial Grand Rapids police procedure can continue, for now. A Michigan Court of Appeals chose to not decide if the so-called P and P procedure is constitutional.

Groups brainstorming
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Elected leaders in Grand Rapids are trying to satisfy critics who say they’re not doing enough to change police policies and outcomes critics say are racially biased.

It's part of a larger effort launched after violence in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.

Mike Maycroft, left, president of the Grand Rapids Police Command Officers Association; and Andy Bingel, president of the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association.
Lindsey Smith

A recent study commissioned by the city of Grand Rapids, which found that black drivers in the city are twice as likely to be pulled over as white motorists, is getting some criticism.

But Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom says the new critique doesn’t change the fact that there’s a problem. Even if the notion is hard to swallow for police officers.

Police Officer
Matthew Sutherland / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Three Grand Rapids police officers remain on paid administrative leave as state police investigate an exchange of gunfire earlier this month that left an 18-year-old probation violator dead.

Grand Rapids police Chief David Rahinsky tells The Grand Rapids Press that the department is following protocol following officer-involved shootings. He isn't commenting on details about the case until after the state police conclude their investigation.

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