The Rapidian

Grand Rapids Police Receive $120,000 Grant

City of Grand Rapids passes a resolution granting the Police Department $120,000 from the US Department of Justice.

The City of Grand Rapids passed a resolution granting the Police Department  $120,000 from the US Department of Justice. The grant is part of a larger, $33 million attempt to advance community policing efforts across the country. Grand Rapids Police aim to use this grant over the course of two years, until August 2023.

From the City Commission’s Agenda on Oct. 26, the Fiscal Committee accepted the grant from the Department of Justice, totaling $120,000. The grant itself is part of a nationwide program created by the Office of Community Policing Services (COPS), with the intention to develop and implement new strategies, increase knowledge regarding effective practices and outcomes, and new approaches to community safety.

The Department of Justice’s website details how the grant will be used nationwide, including:

  • Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). Over $9 million will go toward expansion of the use of crisis intervention teams to embed mental and behavioral health services with law enforcement.
  • Tolerance, Diversity, and Anti-Bias Training. Over $1.7 million will be used for the creation and delivery of tolerance, diversity and anti-bias training for law enforcement officers.
  • De-escalation Training. Approximately $13 million will support the creation and delivery of national level de-escalation training efforts, as well as state and local law enforcement agency efforts to build and maintain their officers’ de-escalation proficiency.
  • COPS Microgrants. More than $2.7 million will support COPS Microgrants demonstration or pilot projects in local agencies. These are projects that offer creative ideas to advance crime fighting, community engagement, problem solving or organizational changes to support community policing.
  • Accreditation. Over $3.8 million will be used to expand accreditation programs and assist agencies with gaining accreditation to ensure compliance with national and international standards, covering all aspects of law enforcement policies, procedures, practices and operations.

Grand Rapids Police Department details their plan for the grant found in the City Commission’s Agenda from Oct. 26. Hoping to address factors that lead to the breakdown of public trust, GRPD  will use this grant “to implement a universal in-service mental health wellness training for sworn officers and eligible civilian staff.”

Until the grant’s end in August of 2023, the GRPD will enact eight, one-day workshops with expert trainers with a background in first responding. The workshops “will focus on resilience, stress management, PTSD, sleep hygiene, and first responder needs and culture.” The purpose of the curriculum within these workshops is to emphasize officer wellness, and in turn approach the building of community trust and neighborhood-based policing.

With GRPD accepting the grant from the DOJ, Grand Rapids joins many other states and cities as part of a nationwide effort to build public trust with law enforcement while also providing the necessary resources to make that possible. This effort by the DOJ isn’t the only attempt to provide law enforcement with the means to build trust with local communities. Within the state of Michigan, Governor Whitmer has enacted similar policies with a recent proposal of $32 million to invest in training and resources for the state’s law enforcement.  

The grant given by the DOJ will hopefully empower GRPD to incorporate new means of building community trust over the course of the next two years.

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