On Saturday, the Grand Rapids Police Department released a statement thanking the community and their partnering agencies for the successful deployment of Operation: Safe Neighborhoods.
"While we recognize that additional officers and resources may cause an inconvenience, we are dedicated to achieving our mission of ensuring everyone is safe, and feels safe, at all times." GRPS said in a press release.
With the assistance of the Michigan State Police Aviation Unit, the GRPD was able to conduct the strategic enforcement of violent crime around the city, resulting in:
- 19 arrests (5 felonies, 10 misdemeanors, 3 warrants and 1 bond violation)
- 4 recovered firearms
- 11 citations
- 2 recovered stolen vehicles
In addition, personnel confiscated significant amounts of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Arrest charges include Fleeing and Eluding, Attempting to Disarm a Police Officer, Resisting and Obstructing, and Possession with Intent to Deliver.
Grand Rapids experienced an unprecedented level of violent crime in 2020, and the GRPD is dedicated to ensuring those numbers do not become a trend in the city.
“I am devoted to the mission of making Grand Rapids the safest midsized city in the US, and the GRPD the most trusted police department in the country by using fair and just tactics,” stated Police Chief Eric Payne. “I am equally steadfast in the belief that I must use every available and proven resource I have at my disposal to achieve that mission…lives are at stake.”
Despite the evening’s achievements, Chief Payne appreciates that the operation, including the use of aerial resources, can cause disruption in the community.
“No one wants to be sitting in their living room listening to a helicopter flying overhead, including me,” the Chief said. “But I have to weigh what’s happening on our streets with how people may feel. We conducted door to door engagement during the week leading up to this operation, and the residents made it clear that they were glad we were there."
The GRPD is keen to be inclusive and innovative when it comes to finding community driven strategies to impact the crime trends effecting the neighborhoods.
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