GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Five forums have been scheduled in June by the Grand Rapids city commission to allow the public to weigh in on police-community relations.
The city announced the forums Tuesday, May 23, the same day the commission took its first official action following the results of a traffic stop study that showed bias in the police department.
The commission will be starting a task force made up of two city attorneys, 10 police and six community members — as well as an outside expert — to review police policy and procedures. The city’s standing public safety committee will also have more community members added, and will have more meeting dates this year.
Additionally, the commission agreed to let City Manager Greg Sundstrom spend up to $15,000 on a facilitator that he’s already identified to come up with a “know your rights” curriculum and to hold more engagement sessions.
A perceived lack of swift action by the commission led community organizers to host their own meeting to seek resident input on how they are being policed Tuesday, May 23. More than 80 people attended to raise questions and come up with recommendations to present to the city commission.
The city’s engagement events are set for the following dates in June:
- Noon Monday, June 12, at the Michigan First Credit Union at Burton and Breton
- 6 p.m. Monday, June 12, at Stocking School at 863 7th St.
- 6 p.m. Friday, June 16, at Cesar Chavez Elementary School at 1205 Grandville (meeting will be in Spanish)
- 6 p.m. Monday, June 19, at Gerald R. Ford School at 851 Mason
- 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at GRPS University at 1400 Fuller
Second Ward Commissioner Joe Jones, who is the president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Urban League, is helping to design the meetings. Each meeting will be led by a facilitator.
In addition to seeking input from residents on whether the city is on the right track to…