GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group called Defund The GRPD wants the city of Grand Rapids to do exactly that: cut funding to the police department.
The group wants the city charter to be changed to lower the mandatory funding percentage earmarked for the Grand Rapids Police Department.
The charter currently requires at least 32% of the general fund to go to GRPD, though it actually gets even more than that. Defund The GRPD is trying to get a line-by-line breakdown of how the department spends its money but says that hasn’t happened.
The city charter can only be changed through a ballot question. No such initiative has yet been launched.
For now, Defund The GRPD has called on the city to limit police funding to the 32% minimum.
The group hopes its discussion will lead to “thoughts, solutions and possibilities” for a world they envision where the police aren’t your first call in an emergency situation.
Instead of calling the police in times of crisis, the group believes in community for holding others accountable.
In an effort to promote accountability, the group announced winners of their “Worst of Grand Rapids Awards.” They say the awards helped bring attention to businesses, elected officials and organizations in the community they believe marginalize others.
Organizers will meet with city leaders Thursday to continue the conversation during a panel discussion. The interactive panel will be held at 7 p.m. on Facebook.