At Thursday’s budget meeting Grand Rapids City Manager, Mark Washington explained the police department’s budget will not be cut. Instead, Chief of Police Eric Payne is proposing a $1.13 million budget freeze.
“So there are no community policing resources that are being cut. There are some adjustments that are being made.”
The proposed budgets included cutting funds to the community engagement unit, and eliminating the program allowing the department to pay non-certified recruits while they attend police academy and the training afterwards. This program was responsible for recruiting the most racially and ethnically diverse class of police officers.
After hearing from community members, the City Commissioners voted to not cut the recruiting program and the budget to the Community Engagement Unit and to cut funds from GRPD’s operational supplies instead. Here is Grand Rapids City Commissioner, Milinda Ysasi.
“We identified about $120,000 dollars in additional cuts that went to operational supplies. So then we were able to put back in our non-certified police recruit class and also restore funding for our Community Engagement Unit.”
Instead of outsourcing a citywide community survey measuring residents’ trust in the police, GRPD will use city processes. Although reductions in trainings have been proposed, these will not impact bias and cultural competency trainings. There are no plans to eliminate the department’s Community Engagement unit.