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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Coalition asks GR Commissioners to hold emergency budget meeting to reduce GRPD budget

Michelle Jokisch Polo

In front of Grand Rapids City Hall, organizers of the Defund the Grand Rapids Police Department Campaign Coalition announced their list of demands for Grand Rapids City Commissioners.

“Our demands are for an emergency meeting by June 30th to reduce the police budget down to the required 32% and to have a plan by July 31st to have a full community conversation with the most marginalized folks in the Black community.”

That’s Danah Montgomery one of the organizers. Currently 38% of the city’s general budget is dedicated to the police department, but the organizers are requesting a reduction of 6% -- an equivalent of about $9 million dollars.

Sam Przybylski, a co-organizer of the effort, says police cannot be trusted to handle a situation without escalating it further.

“It’s always something that can be handled by the fire department or EMS. They handle it without a gun on their hip, without escalating the situation and certainly without killing anyone.”

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne disagrees with organizers and last week said during a press conference a $9 million dollar cut would impact resources, training and community safety.

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