GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department deployed over 100 additional officers across the city over the weekend in an attempt to further address a recent uptick in violent gun crime.
The department says a variety of officers were placed on the streets over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including patrol officers, members of the special response team, members of the vice unit and detectives.
“This is the policing Grand Rapids can expect as we move forward and implement our new strategic plan,” Chief Eric Payne said in a press release Monday.
“Through these efforts, we are committed to making sure everyone in Grand Rapids is safe and feels safe at all times.”
There has so far been 22 homicides in the city of Grand Rapids in 2020. That is already higher than the 17 the city saw in 2019.
This weekend's efforts were done to further address this increase in gun crimes. Chief Payne says engaging community members and building trust between them and officers is a vital part of their new approach.
“By all accounts, we can label this a significant success,” Chief Payne said in Monday's announcement.
“My officers worked very hard to address the violence and engage residents in a positive way.”
The department provided a number of statistics on Monday regarding their activities over the weekend.
With a focus on community engagement, officers recorded 155 "positive non-enforcement interactions" with people across the city. One of those incidents involved an officer engaging a group of kids in a foot race. The quick competition was caught on camera and later uploaded to the GRPD Facebook page.
10 illegally possessed firearms were taken in, with 18 misdemeanor arrests and 16 felony arrests over the 3-day-period.
Officers put in 21 hours of bicycle patrol and 38 hours of foot patrol. 40 traffic stops were also performed.
Chief Eric Payne said on September 10 that 80% of the city's murders in 2020 had been solved.