The Rapidian Home

Community Updates: Friday, April 7

Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability, community partners to hold "Clean Slate GR Expungement Program" next month; the City of Grand Rapids warns residents ahead of upcoming emergency warning siren test; and more
The Blue Bridge, the Grand River, and the buildings of downtown Grand Rapids

The Blue Bridge, the Grand River, and the buildings of downtown Grand Rapids /Antonia Enos Burrows

Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability, Community Partners to Hold "Clean Slate GR Expungement Program" Next Month 

On Tuesday, the City of Grand Rapids sent out a press release to announce that the Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA), as well as several other local businesses and organizations, will be holding an event to educate residents on Michigan's "Clean Slate" expungement process and offer critical information, resources, and services to those in need. 

The 2023 Clean Slate GR Expungement Program, scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 13, will be the second expungement event organized by the OPA since the "Clean Slate" law went into effect in April of 2021. According to Tuesday's press release, the 2022 Clean Slate GR Expungement Program was a resounding success, "helping more than 500 people navigate the criminal expungement process" and "[giving]... individuals -- many for the first time -- the opportunity to do things like get stable housing and find meaningful employment."

The City hopes that this year's event will be just as successful, helping to facilitate a more equitable community. Brandon Davis, the Director of Oversight and Public Accountability, made the following statement in Tuesday's press release:

"This expungement program is one of the restorative justice efforts that OPA is implementing to advance equity and justice in our criminal justice and public safety systems. This will make a positive impact on the lives of members of our community, and that is what this work is all about. We are doing life-changing work and I am proud to do it."

In addition to receiving assistance with Michigan's expungement process and having access to legal/notarization services, this event will offer attendees an opportunity to learn more about the various resources (including access to employment, housing, food, and substance abuse treatment services) that are available to them through the City's partner agencies/organizations. JARS Cannabis, as well as other "felon-friendly employers from inside and outside of the cannabis industry[,] will [also] be present and prepared to offer jobs to Clean Slate participants."   

The 2023 Clean Slate GR Expungement Program will take place between 9:00am and 4:00pm on Saturday, May 13 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. The City is requiring those who plan to attend to fill out an online registration form. Individuals can register for this event through Wednesday, April 12. Those who are interested in volunteering at this event can also sign up on the City's website.  

For more information about the 2023 Clean Slate GR Expungement Program and/or the State of Michigan's expungement requirements/restrictions, visit the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability's website


The City of Grand Rapids Warns Residents Ahead of Upcoming Emergency Warning Siren Test

Monday, March 20 marked the beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing with it warmer weather, blooming flowers, and a steadily increasing chance of severe weather (such as thunderstorms and tornadoes). On Thursday, the City of Grand Rapids sent out a press release to announce that, beginning at 12:00pm on Friday, April 7, it will resume monthly testing of the City's emergency warning sirens. This testing will continue through the month of October.

The unofficial testing schedule is as follows (and is subject to change):

  • Friday, April 7 (12:00pm)
  • Friday, May 5 (12:00pm)
  • Friday, June 2 (12:00pm)
  • Friday, July 7 (12:00pm)
  • Friday, August 4 (12:00pm)
  • Friday, September 1 (12:00pm)
  • Friday, October 6 (12:00pm)

Any individuals who are outside during the testing window, but do not hear any sirens, are urged to report this to the City by calling 311 or (616) 456-3000. Residents who are unable to hear the sirens from inside their homes, workplaces, or other indoor locations are encouraged not to panic. According to Allison Farole, Grand Rapids Emergency Manager:

"The sirens are used and designed only to reach people who are outdoors. Outdoor sirens may not be able to reach interior of all homes due to distance, improved housing construction, sound deadening features and the specific location within the home such as a basement, so redundant methods of alerts such as [the City's] emergency alert system are recommended. The testing of the outdoor sirens is an excellent time to discuss plans for severe weather with your loved ones and co-workers."

The City is also encouraging all residents to register for the Grand Rapids Emergency Alert system. Instructions on how to do so can be found online on the City's website.


Also in the News:

  • On Thursday, the City of Grand Rapids sent out a press release to warn Grand Rapidians about the rising water levels of the Grand River. The City is also recommending that residents avoid activities taking place in the River or in the flooded areas around it. For more information, visit the City's website here.  


Sharing Your Stories

The Rapidian encourages local residents to share their own stories related to civic, economic, and public health developments in the Grand Rapids area on The Rapidian’s platform. To get started as a community reporter, visit

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.