Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force

Overview 

In May 2017, the Grand Rapids City Commission approved the creation of a Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force.

The role of the Task Force is to review our Police Department’s policies and procedures. The Task Force will identify those that may result in racial bias. They will then recommend changes to policies or procedures that result in disparate outcomes.
 
We established the Task Force to address actual or perceived disparities in Grand Rapids. The Task Force will also improve community and police relations in our city.

The goal is to ensure our police department upholds policies and procedures that:
  • Enable effective law enforcement
  • Respect the rights and dignity of all residents
  • Ensure equitable outcomes for everyone
  • Follow nationwide best practices

Below is the tentative list of the policies and procedures set for review. Each of these relates to reducing disparate policing.

Youth interactions

Staffing and deployment

Accountability

  • Internal affairs
  • Discipline
  • Early interventions

Training

  • Implicit bias
  • Procedural justice
  • Crisis response training
  • Add in use of force and de-escalation

Community policing and crime reduction

  • Community engagement
  • Stop and frisk
  • Data driven practice
  • Intelligence-led

Recruitment and hiring (diversity)

Additional topics or further study as needed

We'll update you on the Task Force's work

We're committed to transparency in improving community and police relations. To do this, we will:
  • Host quarterly public meetings. We'll gather community input and report recommendations for changes to policies and procedures
  • Provide regular reports to the City Commission
  • Regularly update this website
  • Report progress in We are GR (published quarterly)
  • Work with local media to share news of significant milestones

Task Force outcomes

This is an action oriented Task Force. This means we identify issues and make immediate recommendations.See the outcomes of our work to date below:

December 6, 2017 - Public Meeting

  • Overview of the Task Force purpose and its charge
  • Introduction of the Task Force Members
  • Overview of how the Task Force will function
  • Review of current GRPD efforts
  • Preliminary selection of topics for study
  • Explanation of process for community input

March 7, 2018 - Public Meeting

  • Reviewed the Task Force purpose
  • Update on Task Force progress
  • Introduced policing practices that reduce biased policing outcomes
  • Presentation by Task Force Co-Chairs on the Draft Action Steps for Discussion on Staffing and Deployment of Police Officers
  • Small groups reported out
  • Summary of feedback

March 27, 2018 - New Policy

  • New Youth Interactions Policy presented to the Grand Rapids City Commission

In August 2017, the City of Grand Rapids issued a 91-page report containing answers to more than 250 questions posed by residents and other stakeholders at various community listening sessions held during summer 2017.

Resident questions were noted from the following:

  • Traffic Stop Study Final Report Community Meetings
  • LINC UP Gallery Community Meeting
  • City’s Listening Sessions

The questions range in topic from communications to community engagement to police body-worn cameras and operational protocols.

Answers to Community Questions

We want to hear from you

Let us know what you think. We're gathering your answers to three questions in the below survey.

Complete the survey here

Who we are

Task Force members include:
  • Residents from each ward
  • The Police Chief
  • Police staff from all ranks
  • Police union representatives
  • The City Attorney is the staff liaison for this initiative

21st Century Policing Solutions (21CP) is a nationally renowned law enforcement consulting group. They are the facilitator and resource for the Task Force. Part of 21CP’s role is to identify and provide examples of best practices from across the country. They also assist the Task Force in comparing our police department’s current policies and procedures with best practices.

Get to know your Grand Rapids elected officials here. We'd like to introduce ourselves, too! Check out our bios below.

Marques Beene

Graduated with a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in 2006.  Following graduation, he served the Grand Rapids Third Ward as a 17th Circuit Juvenile Probation Officer.  In 2009, he started his own consulting business, assisting local businesses and non profits in social enterprise development. Marques is currently employed by the State of Michigan as a Civil Rights Investigator. 

Janay Brower

Founder of Public Thread – a small batch, cut and sew manufacturing social enterprise in Grand Rapids. Public Thread works with designers, small businesses and inventors to make their products and grow their business in the apparel, accessories and sewn product industries. They also make their own line of products using upcycled and reclaimed textiles and aim to help other businesses be sustainable in how their products are made.  

Sonja Forte

Born and raised in Flint and then moved to the Grand Rapids area to attend Grand Valley State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Tourism Management.  She is Director of Community Engagement and Marketplace Programming.  She also is the President of the Grand Rapids Urban League Young Professionals and a member of the Grand Rapids Civic Theater Board and Kids’ Food Basket Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Ed Kettle

Began his career in advertising, promotion and public relations handling retail, food service and industrial clients.  He also worked in entertainment management, marketing and production, which led him to event production and product introduction support. Ed then began working as public and governmental affairs counsel, which included political campaign management and communications.  Ed served as Legislative Chief of Staff in the Michigan House but is now retired.  He still offers advice and counsel to a small group of clients.

Maria Moreno-Reyes

Has lived in the First Ward’s Roosevelt Park Neighborhood for 20 years. She has served on the Grand Rapids Public School Advisory Board, the City’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and the Home Repair Services Board. She currently is serving as Board member for SECOM, Vice President for Neighborhood Association of Michigan and member of ALPACT. Maria worked as a Crime Prevention and Community Organizer for more than 10 years.  She is currently working for the Grand Rapids Urban League. 

Huemartin Robinson II

Brings with him many years of experience working with young people in our community. He serves on several boards, including the Kroc Center Advisory Board, Fred and Lena Meijer Scholarship Committee at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and the Grand Rapids Police Civilian Appeals Board. He has been employed for the past 18 years at 17th Circuit Court where he is currently Assistant Superintendent of the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center. Hue was a member of the Kent County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee. Currently, he is a member of the Cultural Insight Council, Kent County Human Trafficking Task Force and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. 

Raynard Ross

Former police officer, schoolteacher, juvenile justice professional and college instructor. He has a long history of service to our community in various initiatives related to violence reduction and youth development.  Raynard is Vice President of the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education and Associate Dean of Student Success & Retention at Grand Rapids Community College. Raynard holds a Bachelor Degree from Western Michigan University and a Master Degree from Clark-Atlanta University.

Police Chief David Rahinsky

Has 28 years of law enforcement experience.  He began his career in his home City of Philadelphia, where he served as a Police Officer.  In 1989, he joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Ft. Lauderdale, FLA where he served for 18 years.  In 2001, he was selected as Chief for the City of Pembroke Park.  Chief Rahinsky holds a Master of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University.  He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and the Senior Institute Management for Police.  He is committed to strengthening community relationships while focusing on making Grand Rapids one of the safest cities of its size in the nation.  

Deputy Police Chief Eric Payne

Chief of Operations.  He has been a member of GRPD since 1987 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University. He has held the roles of Watch Commander and Administrative Lieutenant.  He has overseen the Detective Unit, Vice Unit and Forensic Services Team.  He assumed the role of Deputy Chief in September 2017.  He is a graduate of the department’s Leadership Institute and the Central Michigan Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute. 

Captain Michael Maycroft

Has been in law enforcement for 23 years. He currently is the commander of the North Service Area, Crime Prevention and Honor Guard. He is also a Bomb Technician on the Bomb Squad.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice-Public Safety from Lake Superior State University and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Ferris State University.

Lieutenant John Bylsma

Has more than 26 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the Grand Rapids Police Department for 21 years.  Lieutenant Bylsma assumed command of the Training Unit in October 2017, having previously served as the Commander of the Special Response Team.  

Sgt. Jana Forner

Has worked at the Grand Rapids Police Department for 17 years, serving in various capacities. These positions include patrol officer, community police officer, detective, background investigator, property and fleet manager.  Sgt. Forner currently serves as a Supervisor of the Detective Unit’s General Case Team.  She is involved with the Department’s Peer Support Team and is the Team Captain for the Police Unity Tour – Team West Michigan.  

Officer Dan Adams

Has been in law enforcement for 21 years.  He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State and a Master Degree in Communication from Grand Valley.  He is currently assigned to the Office of Research & Planning, where he serves as the Department’s Accreditation Manager.  During his career, Officer Adams has served as a patrol officer, detective and crisis negotiator, and he is a trainer in several disciplines.  

Officer Andrew Bingel

Has been in police work for 26 years, including the past 21 years at GRPD. During his career, he has been assigned to the Special Response Team and third shift patrol.  He currently is assigned to the traffic unit as an accident investigator/reconstructionist. Officer Bingel is President of the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association, which represents sergeants and officers.

City Commission hired a policing expert as recommended. The 21st Century Policing Solutions, LLC (21 CP) principals are the best in the industry. 21 CP is a global consulting group that assists police and law enforcement organizations. They address the challenges of policing in the 21st Century. Their mission is to help law enforcement agencies use best practices for effective, integrity-driven policing. They focus on:
  • Principles of procedural justice
  • Building trust
  • Improving relationships
  • Increasing safety
The lead consultant, Ronald Davis, served as Executive Director to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. He developed recommendations to improve community trust in the police while enhancing public safety. Check out the team's bios below.

 

Ronald Davis

  • Former Director, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
  • Appointed by President Obama to serve as Executive Director, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
  • Nearly 30 years of policing experience, including 20 years in Oakland, Calif., and more than 8 years as Police Chief in the City of East Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Former member of federal monitoring teams overseeing consent decrees/agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Washington, DC, and Detroit Police Departments

Sean Smoot

  • Appointed to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the Illinois Commission Police Professionalism
  • Serves as a member of the Cleveland Police Department consent decree monitoring team
  • Director and Chief Counsel for the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois and the Police Benevolent Labor Committee
  • Serves on the Use of Force Advisory Committee, the Police Pursuit Advisory Committee, the Racial Profiling Advisory Committee and the Task Force on Police Integrity for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board 

Charles Ramsey

  • Nearly 50 years of law enforcement expertise
  • Commissioner of the fourth largest police department in the nation with 6,500 sworn and 800 civilian members of the Philadelphia Police Department
  • Served as Washington, D.C. Police Chief and Deputy Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, where he implemented the nationally acclaimed model of community policing called the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy 

Roberto Villasenor

  • Served with Tucson, Arizona Police Department for more than 35 years, including 7 years as Chief of Police
  • Served in every division and bureau of the Department, including Patrol, Investigations, Internal Affairs, Bike Patrol, PIO, Hostage Negotiations, Community Policing, Administration and Communications
  • Appointed to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
  • Appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to the Arizona Criminal Justice Council in 2015
  • Deputy Monitor for the University of Cincinnati Police Department and involved in the review of the riots that occurred in Charlotte, NC 

James Copple

  • A long and distinguished career in youth work, education, substance abuse and crime and violence prevention
  • Facilitator, President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
  • Founding President of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Crime Prevention Council in Washington, D.C.
  • President of the International Institute for Alcohol Awareness and Senior Policy Analyst for the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
  • Founding Partner of Strategic Applications International, LLC and President of Servant Forge, an international non profit focused on leadership development in the non profit and government sector 

We consult our technical team as we make our recommendations:

Kristen Rewa, Grand Rapids Police Legal Advisor

Jennifer Morgrette, Grand Rapids City Attorney Business Manager

Angela Ross, Grand Rapids City Attorney Director of Enforcement

David Kiddle, Grand Rapids Police Department Deputy Chief