Grand Rapids Police Department releases draft plan aimed at transforming the department

Aug 11, 2020

Credit Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0 /

After some community members and Grand Rapids City Commissioners asked for the partial defunding of the Grand Rapids Police Department, a new plan for policing has been released. Chief of Police, Eric Payne says the first step is a community-based approached; assigning patrol officers to specific neighborhoods.

“Each neighborhood is different than the next one so we are looking to work with neighborhoods specifically in how they are looking to be policed.”

Additionally, Payne says incoming 911 calls will be more carefully monitored including how officers respond to calls about parking issues. He says sworn officers will no longer have to respond to these kinds of concerns.

“Reimagine how the things that we are responding to and eliminate some of those response or do it in a different way.”

The department says it will develop a real time crime center similar to Detroit’s Project Greenlight utilizing video from public space cameras. But unlike the Detroit Police Department, Payne says they will not be using facial recognition technology.

“The real crime center would have access to be able to view the recordings of the cameras that have been placed. That’s why we are looking to explore and we will have to look at other departments to see how they are utilizing it.”

And while the plan does not make any changes to the department’s budget, Payne says he’s hopeful the Grand Rapids City Commission will respond positively to his presentation of the plan at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting.