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Community Updates: Friday, September 2

Grand Rapids Police Department and SAFE Task Force to hold anonymous gun buyback event in push for violent crime prevention; Grand Rapids Fire Department announces new internship program; and more
The Grand River and downtown Grand Rapids

The Grand River and downtown Grand Rapids /John Rothwell

Grand Rapids Police Department and SAFE Task Force To Hold Anonymous Gun Buyback Event in Push for Violent Crime Prevention

The Grand Rapids Police Department and the SAFE Task Force have announced that they are planning to hold an anonymous gun buyback event later this month. On Saturday, September 17, residents can hand over their unwanted firearms in exchange for gift cards worth up to $200 (while supplies last). According to a press release sent out on August 30, GRPD and SAFE will be awarding these gift cards to individuals that turn in everything from revolvers to assault-type rifles. However, the amount rewarded will depend on the type of weapon that is relinquished. Tuesday’s release also states that "personnel will not ask questions or collect any personal information," making the buyback completely anonymous.

This event will take place between 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Burton Heights Lot on Burton Street.

The purpose of the gun buyback is to help curb Grand Rapids' rate of violent crime and reduce the number of illegal firearms that are currently on the street. Chief Eric Winstrom of the GRPD stated that:  

"This program will help us continue to get guns off the street and provide community members who no longer want to have guns in their home a place to safely dispose of them. Removing these weapons will make the community safer by limiting access to firearms by those emboldened to use them in criminal acts."

For more information on this event, check out Tuesday's press release here.


Grand Rapids Fire Department Announces New Internship Program

The Grand Rapids Fire Department has announced that it is introducing a new internship program. The purpose of the “Fire Cadet Program” is to "[provide] a path for community youth to discover what it takes to be a firefighter" and help the GRFD to expand its staff.

Through this program, interns will spend 16-20 hours a week gaining hands-on experience in "administration, station maintenance, and special projects" -- which includes tasks such as reviewing different kinds of data and taking part in community events. They will also be able to receive specialized training in a variety of areas (including Medical First Responder training). 

Those interested in the program must be at least 18 years of age and possess either a high school diploma or a GED. Applicants must also have a valid Driver's License. Around six Cadets will be selected for this program. Applications can be found here.   

For more information, check out the GRFD website.


Also in the News:

  • Labor Day is on Monday, September 5. The City of Grand Rapids is reminding residents that most of its non-emergency offices and departments will be closed for the holiday -- including the GRPL.


  • This month, John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum are partnering for a "member reciprocal" program that will continue through the end of September. Members of the GRPM will be able to receive free admission to the zoo (and vice versa). For more information, visit the GRPM website here


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