GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids is looking for a new police chief, and the city wants ideas. Wednesday night was the first of four public input sessions.
The city says it has allotted $32,000 for the search.
About a dozen people called in to the first meeting, with a few of them sharing opinions. One caller was local business owner Johnny Brann.
Brann says one of his biggest hopes is for better support for the next chief.
"Chief Payne did not do a bad job, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Brann. "He didn't get the funding. The state of law enforcement throughout our country is unbelievable."
Another caller, local attorney Tyrone Bynum, disagrees, saying police funding was never the issue, but instead a lack of accountability in the department.
"It isn't just resources," says Bynum. "When you say it's ok for the police to beat the crap out of a young Black man, that's not resources. That's an opinion."
Multiple people in the meeting agreed more community policing is the best way forward for unity between law enforcement and the public.
A spokesman for the city of Grand Rapids says they prefer not to comment until after these meetings are over so that they don't influence the public's opinion.
There are two community input sessions on Saturday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The final one is next Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. You can find the schedule and link to the Zoom calls by clicking here.
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