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What characteristics should the next Chief of Police have? The City of Grand Rapids would like to know

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Officials asking for public input as search for the GRPD's next leader is set to begin

Grand Rapids is about to begin looking for its next Chief of Police, but before the search begins, city officials are asking the public---what qualities they would like to see in the GRPD’s next leader.

After Eric Payne, announced his retirement last month after 30 years at the Grand Rapids Police Department, serving the last two as Chief, city officials are hosting a series of public forums that began Wednesday evening and seeking the community’s input regarding its search for the City’s next chief of police.

According to the city, Public Sector Search & Consulting, Inc. will host four-virtual community forums in October to provide residents with opportunities to share their thoughts on the personal characteristics and professional experience that they think are most important for the next leader of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

While Chief Payne became the first African-American Chief of Police in Grand Rapids history when he took the job over two years ago, Mark Washington also is the first African-American City Manager in Grand Rapids history. I asked Washington with the current state of police and community relations, is hiring person of color important, and what characteristics will he look for in the next chief of police?

“We want the best person,” Washington said. “Regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. Having said that, we want the search to be as inclusive as possible.”

The community forums are scheduled as follows: Wednesday, October 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday October 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and 3 to 4:30 p.m. and next Tuesday ,October 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

According to the city public input gathered from the forums will be condensed into a profile used in the recruiting process.

Chief Payne is expected to retire early next year.

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