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Grand Rapids Police announce new policy on dealing with youth

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Grand Rapids Police Department

The Grand Rapids Police Department announce new Youth Interactions Policy for its officers.

This after a year which saw two incidents where officers held young black kids at gunpoint, one of whom was an 11-year-old girl walking out of a family member's house

The policy lists age, mental capacity and any previous interactions with the law as things officers should take into account when dealing with youths.

David Rahinsky, the city’s chief of police, says this is the first policy to come from the Police Policy and Procedure Review Task Force.

“We didn’t always agree but ultimately we came out with a policy that was unanimously supported as being a good step,” Rahinsky said.

Rahinksy says the department will run simulations designed specifically for youth interactions.  

“Policy, as important as it is, is just that. It’s just policy,” he said.

The chief says the task force is now looking at how the department deploys officers into the neighborhoods.

“We want to be very intention with how we target crime, but we want to avoid any disparate outcomes from how we deploy our officers,” he said.

The task force will hold another public meeting to gain community input on the city’s police department in June.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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