GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The City of Grand Rapids will be transferring parking enforcement duties from the police department to Mobile GR, following the recommendations of an external staffing and deployment study from 2019.
That study suggested that increased non-sworn support could help free up officers to perform duties that require police powers, a news release said Thursday.
GRPD Chief Eric Payne and Mobile GR Department Director Josh Naramore described to the City Commission this week how that recommendation will soon be implemented.
Responsibilities will transfer July 1 from sworn police officers to Mobile GR civilian employees.
In addition, GRPD Communications calls for parking will also transition to Mobile GR.
The 2019 report was commissioned by the city from Hillard Heintze LLC.
It also meets the strategic priorities highlighted in GRPD’s strategic plan and in the city’s strategic plan.
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“This is another incremental step in our journey to reimagining policing in Grand Rapids and frees our officers to concentrate more on neighborhood policing strategies,” Payne said. “This new arrangement with Mobile GR aligns with our strategic goal to leverage partnerships and technology to improve services, decrease crime and increase efficiency.”
Payne told city commissioners that officers issued 4,853 odd/even seasonal parking tickets in fiscal year 2020, which gives an idea of how much time the new switch will save for GRPD.
The initiative calls for bolstering the existing Parking Enforcement Workgroup with 3-4 seasonal staff to support winter parking enforcement and modifying current work schedules to handle parking complaints.
The Mobile GR group consists of 10 parking violations checkers and one parking enforcement supervisor.
The group works staggered shifts to cover Monday through Saturday hours from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and focuses on meter infraction tickets, neighborhood business district parking infractions, residential parking permits and safety violations.