City to transfer parking enforcement from police to Mobile GR

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A 2019 external staffing and deployment study of the police department suggested increased nonsworn support could help free up officers to perform other duties that require police powers. Courtesy Mobile GR

The Grand Rapids Police Department and Mobile GR recently outlined how parking enforcement responsibilities will transfer on July 1 from sworn police officers to Mobile GR civilian employees.

GRPD communications calls for parking also will transition to Mobile GR.

The initiative calls for bolstering the existing parking enforcement workgroup with three-to-four seasonal staff to support winter parking enforcement and modifying current work schedules to handle parking complaints.

The Mobile GR group consists of 10 parking violations checkers and one parking enforcement supervisor. The group works staggered shifts to cover Monday through Saturday hours from 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and focuses on meter infraction tickets, neighborhood business district parking infractions, residential parking permits and safety violations.

A 2019 external staffing and deployment study of the police department suggested increased nonsworn support could help free up officers to perform other duties that require police powers.

“This is another incremental step in our journey to reimaging policing in Grand Rapids and frees our officers to concentrate more on neighborhood policing strategies,” Police Chief Eric Payne said. “This new arrangement with Mobile GR aligns with our strategic goal to leverage partnerships and technology to improve services, decrease crime and increase efficiency.”

Payne said while a specific time savings estimate is not available, the fact that officers issued 4,853 odd/even seasonal parking tickets in fiscal year 2020 shows how much free time will be available. The year before during a snowy winter, officers wrote more than 7,156 seasonal violations. This redeployment will allow sworn GRPD personnel to respond to calls for services that require a sworn officer response.

Mobile GR Department Director Josh Naramore said although Mobile GR currently performs the bulk of parking enforcement, absorbing calls related to parking and taking on odd/even seasonal parking enforcement is just another way to free up sworn GRPD personnel.

“We have been collaborating with GRPD over the last few months to really understand the data of parking tickets and dispatch calls related to parking,” Naramore said. “We’re excited to do our part to help free up officer time to support other police efforts.”

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