Police officers in Grand Rapids who are part of a Special Response Team will soon have a second body camera to carry with them when they're off-duty. The city commission of Grand Rapids has agreed to spend over 15,000 to purchase roughly 20 additional cameras for the Special Response Team. The team often responds to emergencies when off-duty. Buying more cameras would allow the response team to respond directly to incidents instead of having to first go to the police station to retrieve a camera.
Sgt. Terry Dixon says the team responds to critical incidents including hostage situations and barricaded gunmen. The Grand Rapids police department recently has made a considered effort to address transparency and improve its relationship with the community. In addition to equipping every police officer with a body camera, the entire department underwent implicit bias training.
To better understand the public’s perception of the police department, last week Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky and city officials also held a series of “listening sessions.” The City Manager’s office said information gained from the listening sessions will help shape future policy.