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Chief Payne, GRPD release draft of 3-year plan to transform policing

Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 23:06:21-04

GRAND RAPIDS. MICH. — Friday afternoon, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne released a draft of his department’s three-year strategic plan that will aim to transform policing in the city.

The full draft plan can be viewed here.

The plan defines the steps the department will take to accomplish its priorities, safety innovation, and engagement, while laying out how the department will measure its success in achieving those outcomes.

“It’s not the same way we’ve done things in the past, how we respond to certain calls, the responsibility of the officers out,” said Payne. “It will create better engagement opportunities so we can better serve the issues that come up.”

Payne says this is GRPD’s first strategic plan since the early 2000s.

“Police work is constantly evolving and we need to adapt,” said Payne. “More importantly, we’ve heard from the community on things they’re looking for us to do.”

Payne will formally present the draft plan to the City Commission on Tuesday. The plan will include:

  • Transitioning to neighborhood-based policing style
  • Implementing more non-officer employees who can respond to situations not requiring uniformed officers
  • The use of hotspot policing, including analytics to determine if there is a trend of crime in a small area that could be combatted by extra deployments
  • Taking police completely off of parking enforcement
  • Possible use of drones, gunfire detection technology, and real-time monitoring of surveillance camera feeds

The plan acknowledges 32 key items from the department’s “WeHearYou” community feedback analysis. This includes:

  • SAFE (Safe Alliances for Everyone) Task Force’s focus groups and report
  • #GRTalksBack community session
  • Police Chief recruitment
  • June 2020 town halls and July 21 City Commission meeting

“This is my vision moving forward but we can always adapt to other things and we have to be flexible with it,” said Payne.

Payne says the plan would not require additional funding and is based on feedback and studies dating back to 2015.

After the plan is presented, GRPD will hold a series of listening sessions before presenting the final plan at the city commission’s meeting on September 24.

“We believe [what] we will do here is have the safest, most trusted police department of any mid-sized city in the United States,” said Payne.