Grand Rapids seeking firm to help run anti-violence program

Grand Rapids

La Grande Vitesse at Calder Plaza, in front of Grand Rapids City Hall. (File photo)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids is taking bids for a firm to lead an anti-crime program focusing on reducing gun violence.

The city has devoted $225,000 over the next three years to back such a program.

It must be community-led and evidence-based, like the Cure Violence, Operation CeaseFire, Advance Peace, NOLA For Life programs. The city says it will include partnerships within the communities that have seen the worst violence and analyze shootings to determine their causes and prevent retaliation.

“I’ve been a supporter of evidence-based community crime reduction models and have seen how they have made positive impact in various communities across the country,” Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Payne said in a Monday statement, noting the three-year plan for his department includes implementing such a plan. “I am supportive of bringing such a program here to Grand Rapids. This and other crime prevention and community-oriented policing strategies outlined in our plan will help foster a mutual understanding, legitimacy and trust between the community and its police department,” he said.

Firms will have to submit a proposal by Jan. 15. The Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Accountability, a GRPD watchdog, is expected to pick one in late February.

The city cited a jump in crime this year, including a nearly 93% increase in homicides from last year, in announcing plans for the anti-violence program. There has also been a more than 5% increase in robberies, a 7.5% increase burglaries and a nearly 22% increase in aggravated assaults.

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