GRPD closer to completing tasks on community relations plan

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department is closer to completing a 12-point plan aimed at improving the relationship between officers and the people they serve.

On Tuesday, Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky presented an update to the city commission. The department has now completed nine of the recommendations, which means three are still “in progress.”

Next up is the department’s implicit bias training which is expected to get underway within two months. The department will then hire a consultant to conduct a race-based review of traffic stops. Afterwards, consultants will analyze the data and review any racial disparities in arrests.

City Manager Greg Sundstrom created the plan in January 2015 with the goal of having it all completed this past December.

That obviously has not happened. Despite that, Chief Rahinsky told 24 Hour News 8 he’s proud of how far his department has come.

“I hear from my counterparts across the country… I don’t think there’s another department our size with as much going on in terms of public engagement. From teaching young kids to play baseball, to starting an Explorer’s Program to the Citizens Youth Academy. Coffee with a Cop and Coffee with a Clergy. We’re looking to engage this community,” Rahinsky said.

Another big part of the plan was the purchase of body cameras for every officer in the department.

Rahinsky told 24 Hour News 8 that each officer that’s on the street on a daily basis — more than 180 officers — are now wearing them. Other officers, including detectives and higher-ups, will eventually wear them as well.

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