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Grand Rapids police chief recruitment process underway

Posted at 11:28 AM, Nov 12, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A nationwide recruitment is now underway to select Grand Rapids’ next police chief.

Executive search firm Public Sector Search & Consulting Inc issued on Friday its candidate profile and application instructions.

The open application period runs through Dec. 10 and those interested should send a compelling cover letter, resume and list of references to

Recruiters gathered input from both the community and the Grand Rapids Police Department on the attributes and characteristics they want in an ideal candidate.

The profile posted in the online brochure states that:

“Grand Rapids is seeking an individual with strong leadership skills and a collaborative approach to solving problems. The most qualified candidates will not only be accomplished, but well-prepared to address an array of vital issues including neighborhood policing, department staffing, the police department’s relationship with the Office of Public Accountability and the use of evolving technology. Top candidates will have a stellar career history in a major metropolitan area or a comparable size city and will be known for their engaging yet personable style. The selected candidate will also have excellent communication and change management skills.”

Input from the community indicated people want a chief who will:

  • Be an individual who is compassionate, empathetic, respectful, honest, ethical and has the highest level of integrity 
  • Welcome and celebrate the diversity of the entire Grand Rapids community and its unique neighborhoods 
  • Possess the ability to build strong and authentic connections with a complex community 
  • Be a personable yet professional chief who is culturally intelligent and committed to an active model of community policing and engagement 
  • Be a progressive reformer with the ability to implement innovative ideas from the community and department members 
  • Implement change that promotes better service delivery to all neighborhoods and residents 
  • Quickly identify issues and build consensus on how to advance the department’s strategic priorities, while working in conjunction with city leadership, community stakeholders and the police unions 
  • Be a strong leader and decision maker who is transparent in their communications (both internally and externally) 
  • Stand up for what is best for the community and the department 
  • Always value full transparency above short-term public relations considerations 
  • Embody a philosophy of openness and will expect the same of their command staff 
  • Engender trust within all levels of the department 

The most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the selection process starting next month, with the top three or four finalists being invited to Grand Rapids for the final selection process.

Officials say that final selection process will include a public engagement opportunity that will be announced closer to that stage.

Finalists will be interviewed by several panels that will provide feedback to City Manager Mark Washington, who will appoint the next police chief.

The city hopes the new chief will start in late January or early February.

The top salary for the position is currently $160,000 – under review and subject to negotiation.