Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky held a press conference Thursday morning at police headquarters after news of his resignation traveled throughout the area the night before, surprising many city officials with his decision including fellow Grand Rapids police officers.
“I want to share how I came to this decision,” Rahinksy said. “So this will be my fifth Christmas here in Grand Rapids. And I don’t need to tell anybody about the importance of family. And it’s time that I start putting geography and family above personal aspirations.”
Serving four years as Police Chief, Rahinsky has had to be the face of a police department that has come under intense public scrutiny during his tenure. I asked Chief Rahinsky if the stress of the last two years contributed to his decision.
“I really don’t think it did. I didn’t come up here looking for an easy position I came up here looking for a challenge. So I was hired in July of 2014, and then Ferguson happened in August of 2014. And I think Ferguson changed a generation of law enforcement. But I think it’s changed it for the better.”
Rahinsky will retire in Florida where he says most his family lives, including a son who is an officer for the Miami Beach police department. His last day in office is December 18.
Meanwhile, City Manager Mark Washington said he too had been surprised by Rahinsky’s announcement and has not had the time yet to name an interim or have a plan in place to begin searching for the next Chief of Police.