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GRPD working to expand mental health partnerships in the community

GRPD cruiser 2
Posted at 6:49 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 06:49:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids police is working to expand its mental health partnerships to improve public safety and help save lives.

Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington announced that this is part of a way they can better police the community after the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Instead of GRPD only sending an officer to certain calls the Chief would consider sending a mental health professionals as well based on the situation whether it be a mental health crisis or neighborhood dispute.

The department will also add these professionals to the city's homeless outreach team as a way to focus on responding to those experiencing homelessness and help them get permanent or supportive housing.

Washington says the goal here is to better connect first responders and our mental health professionals with people who need them most.

"We want to improve, we know that there are opportunities to improve to gain the trust of this community. We've heard the concerns from the community. And this is this is an earnest effort by the department in in its members to to be responsive, and to hopefully have a community ideally where where there is absolute trust and confidence in police department and there's there's that everyone can be safe at all times safe with law enforcement and people feel safe from law enforcement,” says Mark Washington, Grand Rapids City Manager.

The partnerships are still in development but the city plans to announce more during Chief Payne's update on the police department's strategic plan Aug.11th during the city commission meeting.