The nationwide recruitment for Grand Rapids’ next police chief began last fall and garnered interest from 35 law enforcement professionals from across the country. Input from 26 different Grand Rapids stakeholder input sessions, four virtual community input forums and a public online survey seeking the attributes and characteristics of the ideal candidate informed the final recruitment profile. Following the December 10 application deadline, PSSC screened individuals who best matched the profile and desired characteristics articulated by the community. Washington then worked with PSSC to review and select the top candidates for this public stage of the selection process.
In addition to the public forum, the three candidates will participate in a series of staff-coordinated interviews and a public community forum during their visit to Grand Rapids. We also offered a survey to gain feedback on the three police chief candidates. Washington met with the candidates, reviewed and considered community feedback before announcing Eric Winstrom as police chief.
Commander Winstrom has served in the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for over twenty years in various patrol, tactical, investigative, and administrative positions. He is currently an executive on the CPD Leadership Team and leads the Area 5 Detective Division where he oversees a staff of 200, including 40 homicide detectives. Geographically, Area 5 covers approximately one-fifth of the City of Chicago including the Northwest Side and O'Hare Airport. His previous assignments include teaching at the Chicago Police Academy, heading CPD's citywide child sex crimes investigation unit, serving as a supervising attorney in the legal affairs division, assisting in the creation of the office of reform management, overseeing policy and procedure for the department, and serving as captain of the 400-person 9th District Station. He holds a BS in Administration of Justice from Rutgers University and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School. Commander Winstrom is a member of the Illinois Bar Association and is a court recognized expert on police policy, use of force, criminal investigations, and the Fourth Amendment. Commander Winstrom regularly guest lectures on police issues at DePaul University.
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