GRPD community policing photo recognized by Department of Justice
Published on February 06, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A photo of a Grand Rapids police officer shoveling snow for a 95-year-old resident has garnered attention from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The photo, which features Sgt. Jim Wojczynski shoveling a driveway on the city’s Northeast Side last winter, is among 12 images selected by the DOJ for demonstrating exceptional community policing.
The photo was chosen by the DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office in its fifth annual Community Policing in Action photo contest. The Nearly 150 law enforcement agencies participated in the competition.
The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) image also caught the local media’s attention last winter and was a favorite on social media.
GRPD intentionally weaves the community policing model into its everyday patrol activities, Interim Police Chief David Kiddle said.
“Community policing is more than any one assignment, event or initiative,” Kiddle said. “It is the way we actively and continuously engage our community on a daily basis. The goal is two-part: create a partnership in which the community knows it has an active role in what policing looks like in Grand Rapids and the department maintains the community’s best interest in mind while performing it duties.
“By using community policing as a regular part of patrol, we gain community trust and buy-in for our crime reduction and prevention initiatives. We are more than a police force – we are a community partner.”
The COPS office is responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources. The photo contest highlights efforts by agencies to embrace community policing and connect with the residents they serve.
GRPD’s winning photo is being highlighted by the COPS Office in several ways:
• On the homepage of the COPS website
• As the COPS’ Facebook and Twitter header for the month of January
• In the COPS e-newsletter, The CP Dispatch, along with a corresponding article about GRPD