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Grand Rapids police to unveil plan to make department one of the most trusted in U.S., chief says

Posted at 5:42 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 05:47:45-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department will present its plan to transform policing to the City Commission meeting Tuesday night.

Police Chief Eric Payne unveiled the proposed three-year plan Friday which he said will better serve and protect the people of Grand Rapids.

"Change is coming," Payne said in an interview Friday.

Safety, innovation, and engagement are the top three priories for the department outlined in the plan. Changes include transitioning to a neighborhood based policing style, where officers are assigned a geographical beat.

The department also wants to explore alternative responses to some calls. For example, parking enforcement could soon be a job for a city employee outside of GRPD. The department is also proposing plans to regularly schedule neighborhood meetings.

Payne says the plan would not require additional funding and is based on feedback and studies from the last five years. He says he hopes this plan transforms policing in Grand Rapids for years to come.

"Police work is constantly evolving and we need to adapt more importantly we have heard from the community on things they`re looking for us to do," Chief Payne said. "We believe what we will do here is have the safest, most trusted police department of any mid-sized city in the United States."

We also spoke to Second Ward Commissioner Milinda Ysasi who you'll remember tried to propose removing $9 million from the department's budget last month. Ysasi says that is no longer being considered and she is looking forward to this hearing the chief present his plan.

"The chief has engaged, you know, from what I know a number of people and you know I think the chief presenting this today you know these aren't the circumstances that we thought it would be but I think it is important that we continue this work, " Ysasi said.

The department still wants community input. The department is planning listening sessions for you to voice your opinion on the plan towards the end of next month.