Grand Rapids announces three police chief finalists

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids announced the finalists in the search to find a new police chief.

City Manager Mark Washington announced the three finalists Tuesday: Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski, retired Pittsburgh Assistant Police Chief Larry Scirotto and Grand Rapids Deputy Police Chief Eric Payne. Full bios of each finalists are available online.

One of the finalists will replace David Rahinsky, who retired. Deputy Chief David Kiddle is serving as interim chief.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor released the following statement regarding Yankowski’s possible move:

“Mike Yankowski started his career in Lansing, and has risen in the ranks to become a fantastic Police Chief. He has done great work here in Lansing over the last 24 years. When you have the best talent, everyone else wants that talent as well. While I would like Chief Yankowski to remain the police chief here in Lansing, I certainly understand that the Chief is being recruited for this opportunity. Grand Rapids would be lucky to have Mike Yankowski and I wish him the best of luck in the interview process.”

The community can meet the finalists during a forum Thursday, June 13. It will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School, located at 1205 Grandville Ave. SW.

The finalists will make brief remarks then answer questions from attendees. Those watching the livestream on the city’s Facebook page can submit questions in advance online or on social media using #grchiefsearch.

“I’m telling anyone that will listen, make sure they get out and attend these meetings,” said Kent County Commissioner and community activist Robert Womack. “This is a time to be proactive and not wait until the police chief is picked, and then when there’s an issue, you have complaints.”

“The community part is essential because we are looking for a police chief that is community-oriented, that is concerned about the safety of the community, but also wants to do policing. Not just to community, but with community,” said Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington.

— 24 Hour News 8 Reporter Joe LaFurgey contributed to this report.

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