GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As Grand Rapids Police work to transform its department, one family’s perspective is changing after a GRPD officer took some time to make Tik Tok videos with their daughters and a neighbor earlier this week.
“Tik Tok is like a dancing app where you can post it and other people around the world can like your video,” said Karja, 11.
Karja, her sisters, and their Watkins Street neighbor, Jeanne, often make videos together, learning the app’s latest dances and lip syncing along to the newest songs.
“It gives us a way to have fun,” said Jeanne, 11.
But their latest video is helping them get more than likes.
On Tuesday Grand Rapids Police were responding to a call next door. After wrapping up, the girls went over and asked if they could teach an officer how to dance.
Officer Alison Koldan volunteered.
“We just taught her part by part,” said Karja. “The first part was savage low, did somebody, did somebody, and then once she got that we taught her the second part, then the third part and we put it all together.”
The girls say it changed their outlook on the police.
“All cops are not bad,” said Karja.
“We see cops on TV every single day doing stuff that they shouldn’t be doing,” said Jeanne. “It was a good experience.”
Their grandmother added more interactions like it may help bridge the gap as the city work toward a better future.
“Communities can get along with the police if they take the time to know them instead of judging,” said Joann Maze.
GRPD issued the following statement about the video:
“Officer Koldan represents what our department strives for: establishing important, lasting relationships with everyone in our neighborhoods. There are many other similar stories that we hope to continue sharing to demonstrate to the community the good work our officers continue to do daily in addition to working tirelessly to keep our community safe. Thank you for highlighting these efforts.”