| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed



Grand Rapids Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force—Public Meeting

Over the last few years, many cities around the nation who value their citizenry and seek to modernize their community’s policing have been organizing around the guidelines that were released in 2015 by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 21st Century Policing Report.

Grand Rapids has long recognized the role of community-policing and now more than ever the populace here recognizes the importance of healthy neighborhood relations.

On Wednesday night, the public is invited to join other community members at the downtown Grand Rapids Public Library to learn what the City of Grand Rapids is putting in place via our Grand Rapids Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force.

The goals of this citizen- and police-led committee, who are embarking on this journey, is to provide a platform for effective law enforcement policies that respect the rights and dignity of all residents and to discuss how best to fold in those nationwide best practices set forth in the 21st Century Policing Report. 

Attendees will have an opportunity to give input to the committee via the roundtable discussions that is made up of area residents, law enforcement officers, and nationally recognized consultants. These quarterly meetings will continue as a way for the task force to check in with our city’s residents on this important work as they review the GRPD’s policies and procedures to identify and eliminate those that may result in racial bias.

As a primer, these are the main target areas that the 21st Century Policing Implementation Guidebook outlines as effective strategies to help communities, law enforcement, and local government implement recommendations. 

From their summaries from the DOJ’s October 2015 release of this report, these are the areas of focus.

1. Engage with local law enforcement; participate in meetings, surveys, and other activities.
2. Participate in problem-solving efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life.
3. Work with local law enforcement to ensure crime-reducing resources and tactics are being deployed that mitigate unintended consequences.
4. Call on state legislators to ensure that the legal framework does not impede accountability for law enforcement.
5. Review school policies and practices, and advocate for early intervention strategies that minimize involvement of youth in the criminal justice system.

Law enforcement
1. Review and update policies, training, and data collection on use of force, and engage community members and police labor unions in the process.
2. Increase transparency of data, policies, and procedures.
3. Call on the POST Commission to implement all levels of training.
4. Examine hiring practices and ways to involve the community in recruiting.
5. Ensure officers have access to the tools they need to keep them safe.

Local government
1. Create listening opportunities with the community.
2. Allocate government resources to implementation.
3. Conduct community surveys on attitudes toward policing, and publish the results.
4. Define the terms of civilian oversight to meet the community’s needs.
5. Recognize and address holistically the root causes of crime.
Signup for Email Alerts