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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.

Activists rally to cut down GRPD's budget

Black and White photo of a poster which reads "DEFUND THE POLICE"

Organizers say more than 70 supporters attended a rally on Friday focused on cutting funding of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The event was held at Calder Plaza and hosted by the groups Defund the GRPD and Justice for Black Lives, who say the city should reallocate funding into the community.

Those in favor of cutting down the police budget are pushing to slash it to 32% of the general fund, the lowest that is permitted under the city charter.

The proposed city budget calls for allocating $55.8 million to police, making it 35.8% of the total city funds. While the budget proposed for 2022 would lower GRPD's percentage of the general fund, expentitures within the department would increase.

Activists say the community deserves have a say where their tax dollars go. City commissioners are set to vote on the final budget May 20.