Bliss: City ‘appreciates concerns’ about purged GRPD line

Target 8

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids mayor is responding to Target 8’s investigation involving the purging of line 3407.

Though it was labeled “unrecorded,” the Grand Rapids Police Department phone line actually was taped and recorded officers talking about how to cover up an assistant prosecutor’s drunken driving crash. Those recordings were released to the public and made Target 8 wonder if there were any other attempted or successful cover-ups recorded on the line.

Target 8 revealed that city administrators decided to erase all the secret recordings from line 3407 despite pending Freedom of Information Act requests from WOOD TV8 and others to listen to the calls. Since the calls were deleted, we’ll never know if any involved cover-ups.

It’s a decision that the city attorney is standing behind.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was out of the city attending a conference when Target 8’s investigation aired last month. Asked Tuesday how she feels about the decision to purge the calls, Bliss replied, “I don’t have enough information.”

“I haven’t been briefed on the follow-up from that,” she continued. “I appreciate the concerns that have been brought forward and I know that we take them seriously and the city attorney does as well.”

When asked if there has been any discussions about changing the city’s FOIA policy, she said no.

“As of today, there haven’t been — at least with the full city commission,” Bliss said.

The purge was discovered through a FOIA request for internal emails. Target 8 has requested more emails to see if they provide any additional information on the destruction of the calls.

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