GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In wake of recent national events involving police-related shootings and brutality, the Grand Rapids Police Department wants to make sure its reputation is not tainted within the community.
This afternoon, GRPD held a gathering at the city commissioners chamber alongside guest speaker U.S. Attorney General of Western Michigan, Patrick Miles. Speaking to a group of local clergy and youth, Miles said the purpose of police is to help – not intimidate.
Attendees had an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns regarding matters like race relations and the legal system.
Miles said having good communication is key in building trust between locals and law enforcement. He placed an emphasis on how local clergy and youth both play an important role in doing so – clergy can reach many people through their congregations while young people can do the same through social media.
“The law enforcement needs to reach out to those folks who can influence a lot of people to build relationships with them as well because they can really help to diffuse a situation,” White said. “And they can also help to inflame a situation, and so it’s important that they be on the side of peace and justice.”