Meetings to gather public input on GRPD chief job posting

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids has set four public meetings during which people can weigh in on what they want from a new police chief.

The city is looking for a replacement for Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Payne, who is retiring early next year.

The meetings, all of which will be virtual, are scheduled for:

  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13
  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 16
  • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16
  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19.

The link to log on to the meeting can be found on the city’s website.

The meetings are being hosted by Public Sector Search & Consulting, Inc., the vendor the city hired to facilitate the chief search. The firm will ask people about what qualities — both in terms of professional experience and personal traits — that they think the chief should have. The responses will help the city formulate a profile of the person it is looking for.

“It is important we have the right leader to ensure the safety and trust of our community,” City Manager Mark Washington said in a statement from the city. “That is why we’re encouraging our residents and other community members to participate in these engagement sessions and have their voices heard. Input from our neighborhoods and the community is critical to helping us select the right person.”

Washington said he’s looking for someone who will build community trust and prevent crime, as well as value transparency and diversity.

Once the public weighs in, the job description will be formulated and posted and applications will start being screened. After interviews, Washington should choose Payne’s successor sometime early next year, though a date has not yet been specified.

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