GR Commissioner supports the defunding of GRPD
For the upcoming fiscal year, about 38% of the city of Grand Rapids’ budget is allocated to the Grand Rapids Police Department. Grand Rapids City Commissioner Joe Jones says he would like to see that percentage go down to 32%.
“Now we are at 38.6% and that would be a reduction of about $9.4 million dollars but I think it would be a very effective first step to get us back to that 32%.”
The 32% Jones refers to here is in reference to a City Charter passed by voters in 1995 to ensure at least 32% is allocated to GRPD. In order for the budget to go any lower than 32% -- a change in the city’s charter would need to take place.
Jones explains this moment is an opportunity to reimagine the police department. He says police officers shouldn’t have to respond to calls of domestic violence, mental health, or substance abuse.
“I know, nationally, what has been happening is that health care workers are the ones handling these incidents and I think it would be wise as a city to follow that lead.”