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Survey finds 3 in 10 Grand Rapids residents don't trust the police

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Grand Rapids Police cruiser

About three in ten Grand Rapids residents don’t trust the city’s police department, according to an anonymous digital survey conducted by the city.

The police department is using the survey to get feedback from residents in real time. 

According to the initial survey findings, about seven in ten people, out of the roughly 2,400 who have taken it so far, trust the police department and feel safe in their neighborhoods.

The survey itself uses a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 noting the worst score and 100 the best. In terms of police trust, the department scored a 68, and in terms of safety, the department scored a 69.

Sargent John Wittkowski, the Public Information Officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department, says there’s room to improve.

“There’s three people out of those ten that maybe don’t feel safe or again don’t feel that their department is trustworthy,” Wittkowski says.

This is part of the city’s ongoing effort to improve community and police relations.

Wittkowski says although the survey is brief, residents can include more detail if they want about specific areas of concern.

“So if they’re dealing with a specific safety issue, they can actually type that into their smart device and that will be captured as well,” he says.

Wittkowski says the survey findings will be published on the department’s website every quarter – or every three months.

The survey gets into specific sections of the city for more detailed results.

“The police department is divided into five service areas to best serve the community. Each area team is led by a captain and team of officers assigned to address residents’ needs. We encourage you get to know your team and partner with the officers to improve the safety of your neighborhood,” the department’s website says.

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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