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Recommendations from police task force not made as promised

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After a traffic study last year found that Grand Rapids Police are twice as likely to pull over black drivers as non-black drivers, Grand Rapids City Commissioners responded by setting aside $5 million to be spent on improving community and police relations and restoring trust.

Out of that came the creation of the Grand Rapids Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force. The group was charged with conducting an internal review of how the GRPD operates, and then providing recommendations on how the department can repair its relationship with those who may have lost faith in police.

Prior to the Task Force’s 3rd quarterly meeting, the City of Grand Rapids issued a press release saying that recommendations would be made to the police department. However, by the end of the meeting, none had been made. I reached out to the Task Force for comment, and was referred to the City Attorney. Calls were not returned.

Meanwhile, Grand Rapids Police may not be waiting around for recommendations to be made. The Department is inviting community members to participate in a trust building seminar called “Policing at the speed of Trust.” During the event, participants will have one on one conversations with police officers and be able to vent any frustrations towards law enforcement.

Grand Rapids Deputy Chief Eric Payne.

“This will allow us to have some conversations," Payne said. "And hopefully some trust comes out of it.”

Meanwhile, no new date or deadline has been set for the official recommendations from the task force.

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