GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department has implemented a neighborhood policing model that assigns officers to specific neighborhoods across the city. The model aims to build and foster stronger relationships between officers and community members.
The model was implemented for the first time Sunday. GRPD said it increases staffing by redeploying officers previously assigned as community policing specialists. Chief Eric Payne said the model will help officers make significant partnerships and problem solve with stakeholders on many issues, including non-criminal and quality of life.
“The officer will become part of the neighborhood and be vested in its success, as well as be a resource for the residents and businesses,” Payne said. “Officers will be able to work directly with those in the neighborhood, find solutions to significant issues and be a helpful advocate. This approach also will allow us to encourage young people in the neighborhoods to consider a future career in law enforcement as we look to recruit our next generation of GRPD officers.”
The move to this new policing philosophy was first identified by the department as a way to provide both traditional and community policing services with available resources.
Through many listening sessions, the City also heard that residents expressed a desire to see “their” community service officer more often and engaged in more non-enforcement, positive contacts. This new neighborhood policing model could also allow an assigned officer to more closely adapt and serve the unique needs and wants of each neighborhood.
The move to the neighborhood policing model aligns with goals and objectives listed in the Grand Rapids Police Department’s strategic plan and bolstered in the City of Grand Rapids’ strategic plan’s Safe Community priority.
“Through strategies and action steps, such as the move to neighborhood policing model, we will be a more effective, inclusive and efficient police department,” said Deputy Chief Kristen Rogers. “We will advance public safety while earning the trust and pride of those we serve and those who serve.”
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