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Grand Rapids police step up efforts to get tips, video

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The Grand Rapids Police Department is asking for the public’s help in fighting crime as the GRPD launched two initiatives on Tuesday that will assist officers in their investigations of violent or illegal activity. The first is a system of leaving front door hangers on homes as police go from residence to residence in search of information after incidents involving a gun. 

“So what our patrol officers have found, is that whenever there is a violent crime, or a crime in a neighborhood, often times residents are afraid to answer their door, they are afraid of giving police information," Grand Rapids Police Department Public Information officer, Sgt. Cathy Williams said. "So it gives them options, once police have left to contact either the police department or silent observer and they can remain anonymous if they so choose.”

The second initiative calls for residents to register their personal security cameras on their property with the police department for investigators to access in the event of a crime. While residents may initially fear an invasion of privacy, the GRPD assures the police department will be required to ask permission before viewing any footage.

“Now the first people might think is ‘oh the police department has direct access to my security cameras, in my living room and my back office,’ and that is not the case at all," William said. "We do not have direct access to any camera. We are simply asking that people register their cameras with us so we know where they are…and if a crime does occur in that neighborhood, we can more quickly contact you and ask permission to look at that video.”

According to the Grand Rapids Police Department, in the past six months, there has been 94 violent gun crimes, including four adults and one child being killed by gun violence.

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