GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s at the McDonald’s on South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids that customers will find something so satisfying that it’s too good to go on the menu.
“It’s just as good as 911,” said Grand Rapids Police Department Sgt. John Wittkowski.
He’s not talking Big Macs.
“This is a safe environment,” Wittkowski said.
During a launch party Thursday, GRPD announced a partnership with the location’s owner, Ryan Reardon, to open the restaurant’s dining room after-hours to officers from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
It’s the department’s latest effort to strengthen its relationships with the community.
“If we can meet people in their own communities, people feel more comfortable with providing information,” Wittkowski said.
Reardon said he is thrilled to give police another place to work and customers the ability to file a police report, a complaint or give a tip, without going to a police station.
“Lt. (Maureen) O’Brien and I started hatching this plan in the springtime,” Reardon said. “(We’re) just promoting the interaction with the community and the people that serve it.”
As the relationship between the police and this community continues to build, the officers ask for the community’s trust and their openness to connect with them over a late-night snack.
“I want community members to know that if they see officers here, or anywhere in this neighborhood, to feel comfortable to introduce themselves,” Wittkowski said.
The drive-thru will be open overnight for customers, but workers said they can’t order inside. That opportunity only exists for the police.