GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department invited the community to share ideas Wednesday about changes they’d like to see within the department.
The Task Force on Police Policy and Procedures held its third meeting at the Goei Center on the southwest side of town.
Ron Davis, a representative from consulting firm 21st Century Policing, spoke about the importance of careful staffing and deployment of police officers. Davis said overpolicing an area can yield worse outcomes for communities.
“Anyone who thinks there’s a silver bullet that will fix it overnight, I think we’re fooling ourselves. This will take not only a task force effort, it will take an entire community effort,” Davis said.
Small groups of residents shared their ideas about community policing and offered suggestions they believe would improve police-community relations. Small groups also shared suggestions for best hiring and recruitment practices.
Task force members said hearing the public’s advice will be the key to improvements.
“We’re not going to arrest our way to better relationships,” Chief David Rahinsky told the crowd. “We’re not going to cite our way to better community support. That’s going to come about the hard way, which is what we’ve been doing, which is time, energy and effort.”
The task force is part of an ongoing effort by GRPD to improve relationships with the people it serves.