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Community responds to lack of diversity in recent GRPD hiring

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

A letter from LINC Community Revitalization and endorsed by other leaders to the City of GR on the recent list of 2014 Grand Rapids Police Department appointees, which show a lack of diversity.

To the City of Grand Rapids,

For the past five years our organization has been dedicated to strengthening the relationship between the Grand Rapids City Administration, several neighborhood leaders, the business community and many organizations within the Grand Rapids minority communities. Our purpose has been focused on LINCing us together with examples of how each of us are demonstrating a commitment to growing a stronger, more diverse city. It is with this in mind that we write to ask for your guidance and explanation as to HOW a city of the size and diverse population as ours could announce a class of 2014 Grand Rapids Police Officers with an astonishing lack of diversity on the list.

While we share the enthusiasm throughout the community that the force of the Grand Rapids Police Department has been expanded, it appears that the city is becoming more diverse and the department is not successfully recruiting a team that reflects the population. Is this a missed opportunity to move our city forward?

Before our city embarks on the most important next step in city leadership, the recruitment of a new Chief of Police, we ask for an explanation behind the announcement of this list of new recruits which is overwhelmingly white and male. We think the community as a whole is best served when we remain committed to growing diversity and being open and transparent about the efforts to support the growth of a diverse city. We remain committed to partnering with the city to help identify the best candidate to serve and protect our diverse community and the region as a whole.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all our police officers for their commitment and service to Grand Rapids. We will continue to invite all residents to join us in actively honoring that commitment by getting involved in the selection of the next Chief of Police. And, we look forward to your sharing the background associated with the recent decision to present the 2014 group of recruits with such a lack of diversity.


LINC Community Revitalization, Inc.


Supported and endorsed by:

  • Kent County Black Elected Officials
  • Mexican Heritage Association
  • Stop It Initiative
  • Grand Rapids Urban League

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