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Grand Rapids to hold police chief candidate forum on Jan. 19

Posted at 11:59 AM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 12:00:23-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids and its hired executive search firm, Public Sector Search & Consulting Inc., will host a public forum later this month to introduce the candidates for GRPD’s police chief.

It’ll take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 in the 9th Floor City Commission Chambers in City Hall, located at 300 Monroe Ave. NW, according to a news release Thursday.

Comcast Channel 26 will also cablecast the event, and it will be streamed live on the city’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

City officials say they plan to announce the candidates next week. The candidates will provide brief remarks during the forum and answer questions provided by the community.

Those questions may be asked in-person at the event, via the livestream chat on Facebook or YouTube, or submitted in advance here by 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 17.

Anyone without internet access can submit their questions in advance via 311 or 616-456-3000.

“While it is ultimately my responsibility to hire a chief of police, residents will continue to have a voice in the process of selecting our next chief,” City Manager Mark Washington said. “Public safety and resident engagement is essential for a thriving community, and the next chief will be fundamentally responsible for carrying out the vision articulated in the city’s and department’s strategic plans.”

Once the public has a chance to watch and listen to what the police chief candidates have to say at the forum, Washington says he wants to know what they think of each candidate through an online survey.

The survey will go live after the forum and will be available for comment through 5 p.m. on Jan. 26. Those without internet access will be able to participate in the survey via 311 or 616-456-3000.

Grand Rapids’ national recruitment for its next police chief garnered interest from 35 law enforcement professionals.

PSSC is working with Washington to examine the candidates that will advance and appear at the forum.