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Grand Rapids Police Chief unveils several policy changes

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GVSU Police Academy cadets receive mediation, conflict resolution training

‘Sanctity of life’ GRPD’s highest priority moving forward

Amid increasing gun-violence in the city, and the recent officer involved shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said Tuesday he wants to make a number of changes to the GRPD.

“Our community has been through significant trauma over the last several years with the pandemic, and with the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya. Everyone has felt that. I have heard those who call for defunding or abolition of the Police Department and I have heard from a majority of residents and businesses that desire better police presence,” Police Chief Eric Winston said at the Grand Rapids City Commission’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Tuesday.

The GRPD’s top cop presented his plans which involve several policy changes focused on constitutional policing.

The GRPD has come under heavy scrutiny over the past few months since the shooting death of Lyoya on April 4th. Former Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr is facing 2nd Degree Murder charges for shooting Lyoya in the back of the head during a traffic stop as the two wrestled on the ground.

In response, Winstrom says new policy’s to the GRPD will include recognition of the sanctity of life as the department’s highest priority; while implementing a de-escalation policy.

“In the face of intense public scrutiny, the men and women of GRPD continue to give a 100% effort to make Grand Rapids a safer place for everyone,” Chief Winstrom said. “Our success will hinge not only on our efforts to provide professional, compassionate and courageous service, but on the support Grand Rapids shows its police officers.”

Training on these policies will begin Tuesday, Aug. 2 and become effective immediately after training is completed.

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