In an effort to increase transparency and improve community and police relations, the Grand Rapids Police Department has begun an e-newsletter and video blog featuring Chief David Rahinsky. The new video blog went live Wednesday morning on the city’s official Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages. The video blog comes at a time when the police department is actively trying to increase its transparency and repair its relationship with the community.
That relationship has taken a number of hits its recent months—an independent traffic study in April found that Grand Rapids police are twice as likely to pull over black drivers as they are non-black drivers. The city responded by holding listening sessions with the public as well as establishing a task force to review police policy and procedures, while the new video blog and e-newsletter is another effort by the city to repair community and police relations.
In Chief Rahinsky’s first blog he highlights the partnership the police department has with Camp O’Malley, a Boys and Girls Club camp where police officers and campers engage in a number of activities side by side.
“An opportunity to get to know us as people, build trust and build relationships that we think are going to last a lifetime,” he says on the video.
The City of Grand Rapids information Network now produces monthly video blogs that also feature Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, City Manager Greg Sundstrom and Assistant to the City Manager Stacy Stout.