GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Survey results showing community input on the Grand Rapids Police Department will be presented at the Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday.
The responses were made public immediately after the survey was closed. The city of Grand Rapids created and launched the short online survey last week, getting responses from about 600 local people between Tuesday and Thursday.
“There was a lot of thoughtful feedback,” city of Grand Rapids Communications Director David Green said. “A lot of honest sharing of ideas and opinions and possibly ways forward.”
Community, defund and change were a few of the most frequently used words given in the short answer sections of the survey.
Of the local respondents, the results show that roughly half of community members surveyed feel “somewhat” or “very safe” living in their neighborhood.
The results also show that about 60% of local respondents have not had any personal interactions with police, while about 6% said they have had personal interactions with officers and were treated unfairly.
When it comes to the hot-button topic of police funding, responses were all over the place.
According to the results, about half of those surveyed from Grand Rapids agreed with the statement, “I believe that Police Department resources can be reallocated outside of the department to produce better safety outcomes.”
Another chunk of local respondents, about 37.5%, agreed with the statement, “the Police Department needs additional resources to do their job.”
GRPD was unable to comment on the survey results at this time, telling News 8 they’re still in the process of reviewing and analyzing the results with fellow city leaders.
As Green prepares to present the results to city leaders and elected officials Tuesday, he said the survey shows the importance of public input when it comes to decision making in Grand Rapids.
“You’ll find the results very much mirror much of the conversation we’ve been having over the past year,” Green said. “There’s a recognition that change may be necessary. There may be differences in how to get there and where to start, but there’s a real recognition that there’s something going on in the community, not just here, but nationally, and that there needs to be some local solutions to address these things.”
To receive notifications about future surveys on behalf of the city of Grand Rapids, you can sign up online.