Grand Rapids seeks resident input for new police chief

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Mark Washington Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The city of Grand Rapids is enlisting the help of residents in its search for a new police chief.

The Grand Rapids City Commission appointed Public Sector Search & Consulting Inc. (PSSC) to work with City Manager Mark Washington and aid in the search and hiring process. PSSC will host four virtual community forums in October to give residents the opportunity to share their thoughts on which ideal traits and professional experiences the next leader of the police department should possess.

“It is important we have the right leader to ensure the safety and trust of our community,” Washington said. “That is why we’re encouraging our residents and other community members to participate in these engagement sessions and have their voices heard. Input from our neighborhoods and the community is critical to helping us select the right person.”

Community forum dates/times:

  • 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13
  • 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16
  • 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16
  • 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 19

Residents looking to give input into the decision should join the forum at grandrapidsmi.gov.

“We are looking to recruit a candidate who is focused on building trust, preventing crime, improving response, providing transparency, valuing diversity and is an outstanding leader and great communicator,” Washington said. “We also want someone who is collaborative and is committed to the goals surrounding community and neighborhood policing outlined in the department’s strategic plan. I look forward to hearing from the community on other qualities we need in the next police chief.”

After the community forums, PSSC will post the job opening and go on to gather and screen applications. Candidates will then be presented to the city and interviewed by multiple panels, who will provide critical feedback to the city manager. Washington plans to make the appointment of Grand Rapids’ new police chief in early 2022.

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