GRPD releases annual report

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GRPD Police Chief Eric Payne Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

Amid national conversations about the role of policing, GRPD rolled out its three-year strategic plan to restructure service delivery, increase transparency and accountability, and to use data more strategically. Elements of the plan were already in place by the end of 2020.

“To say 2020 was an incredibly difficult year for all of us would be an understatement,” said Police Chief Eric Payne. “Despite the challenges, we were able to adapt to policing during a pandemic, develop stronger community partnerships and redefine our mission, vision and values to accurately reflect our role, and promise, to the community we are proud to serve.”

There were more than 131,000 calls made to 911 in 2020. If averaged out over the course of the year, 911 Dispatch received 360 calls per day, or 15 calls per hour in 2020.

There were 76,281 calls for service. Of those, only 0.41% resulted in any type of use of force, the lowest percentage in the past four years. Over 99% of calls had no use of force involved.

There were 67 complaints to internal affairs that originated from outside the department. This is the lowest number of complaints in the past four years, according to the report. Of the complaints eligible for review by the Civilian Appeals Board (CAB), only two appeals were made. The CAB affirmed the department’s findings in both cases.

GRPD personnel received 21,481 hours of training, 7,337 hours over the combined mandatory training requirements (6,144) and recruit class training hours (8,000) logged in 2020, the report stated.

Despite many events being canceled due to the pandemic, GRPD joined in over 90 parade celebrations and participated in 31 community events.

In 2020, there was a record 38 homicides and gun violence rose over 80%. Homicides are down significantly in 2021 compared to this time last year, according to GRPD, but gun violence continues to rise and remains a top priority for the department.

“Despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, we were able to adapt our operations to fully follow COVID safety protocols and reduce the potential for a shift-wide outbreak, build consensus in support of the strategic plan and continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards,” Payne said. “If 2020 reinforced anything, it’s the importance of working together as a police department, as neighbors, and as a city.”

GRPD’s annual report cycle is based on the calendar year, rather than the city’s fiscal year, to align with state and federal crime reporting requirements. The full report can be viewed here.

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