GRPD presents 2020 crime report to city committee

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department on Tuesday released its crime report for 2020, acknowledging it was the city’s deadliest year ever but also arguing it has made progress in some areas.

GRPD Chief Eric Payne and Deputy Chief Kristen Rogers presented the report to the Grand Rapid City Commission Public Safety Committee. It highlights crime statistics, internal affairs investigations, community efforts, the impact that the pandemic had on the department and more.

“It was a very active year,” Payne said. “In my cover letter, I point out some of the challenges of 2020. We had the unprecedented amount of violence that occurred, the civil unrest that we dealt with, not to mention a global pandemic.”

Some takeaways from the 18-page report are listed below. To view the full report, click here (PDF).

  • GRPD released and started implementing its three-year strategic plan, which promises to restructure service delivery, increase transparency and accountability and to use data more strategically.
  • Grand Rapids 911 took more than 131,000 calls, averaging 360 per day or 15 per hour.
  • There were 76,281 calls for service. GRPD said 0.41% of those led to a use of force by an officer, which it said was the lowest figure in four years.
  • There were 67 complaints to internal affairs that originated from outside the department, the lowest number in four years. Two cases were appealed to the Civilian Appeals Board, which in both cases upheld GRPD’s findings.
  • Grand Rapids saw a record 38 homicides in 2020 and gun violence spiked by more than 80%. GRPD counted 1,036 “gun crimes,” which are defined as situations in which someone was or could have been harmed by a gun, but not nonviolent reports like illegally carrying a concealed weapon or finding weapons.

Homicides have dropped in 2021 compared to the same period year — more than halfway through the year, there have been only eight — but GRPD said gun violence is still on the rise.

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