GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a memorable year for Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom, as he looks to rebound from what he called a “challenging” year.

“Let’s just face it, 2022, April 4th was Patrick Lyoya’s death, that had such a huge impact on the city and me professionally and my boss and the commissioners and everybody,” Winstrom said.

There were 22 people killed last year. That’s three more than in 2021. The city marked a record 38 homicides in 2020.

In the list of homicides in 2022, the ages range from 2 months to 69 years old. According to WOOD TV8 records, at least 10 of those cases remain unsolved.

“It never gets easier,” Chief Winstrom said. “I really want to see that number just disappear.”

Winstrom said reducing domestic-related murders is a priority. Stacey Majewski and Tamiquar Wright were two victims shot and killed by their partners last year.

“We’ve tried to increase our victim witness coordinator program here, where we’re adding individuals just to focus on the domestic violence to make sure that people know that there are options,” he said.

He added it’s important for the department to acquire more staff, emphasizing how it’s going to be critical to their success going forward.

“We got our contract signed from the city commission for our police officers … giving officers a nice pay raise. It puts us up competitively there with other agencies in Michigan,” he said. “Additionally, the commission gave us the authority to use an outside agency to help
with recruiting and branding for the police department.”

As the city braces for what this year will bring, the chief remains optimistic.

“I’m proud of the police department and where we are today. I’m really positive about 2023. It’s going to be our year,” he said.

Chief Winstrom thanked the community for their support last year and hopes that continues.


— News 8’s Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this report.