Published on August 23, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) has added a policy that establishes guidelines for department personnel to follow when interacting with foreign nationals – individuals who are not naturalized citizens of the country where they’re living. The guidelines ensure equal enforcement of the law and equal service to the public regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
The goals of the policy, which aligns with the City’s Strategic Plan that prioritizes a safe community in which all people feel safe and are safe at all times throughout the city, are:
“All members of our police department – both sworn and civilian – are dedicated to serving everyone who lives, works and plays in our city with the highest degree of professionalism, dignity and respect,” Police Chief Eric Payne said. “This policy codifies that commitment and the expectation that everyone in our community receives equal service regardless of citizenship or immigration status.”
Under the policy, no member of GRPD may:
The policy allows officers to provide assistance to federal immigration authorities when there is an emergency that poses an immediate danger to public safety or federal agents. The policy also provides guidelines specific to the department’s investigations division and records unit as well as consular notification procedures and diplomatic immunity. Read the full policy HERE.
GRPD is not responsible for or has the authority to enforce federal civil immigration laws used to detain or remove undocumented immigrants from the U.S. That means GRPD does not serve as a civil immigration enforcement for the federal government. The department does not perform immigration functions unrelated to the investigation and enforcement of criminal violations. Frequently asked questions about GRPD and federal immigration enforcement are available HERE. They’re available in Spanish HERE.
“This policy brings together current practices of our police department and input we have received from the community,” Payne said. “It’s another step forward in strengthening trust with the community we serve and providing clearer direction to our officers.”