GR: Police and Community Leaders Discuss Stopping Violence

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Violence in Grand Rapids became the focus for city leaders Friday morning.

Grand Rapids police chief Kevin Belk, area clergy and other community leaders held a press conference to discuss an initiative to stop the violence. The recent uptick in crime, including eight murders in a one month period, sparked the conversation.

“Public are the polic,e and the police are the police,” Belk said. He and other leaders said it’s a ‘community effort’ in curbing the violence and reaching those who are at-risk.

The chief said his department could use more resources to fight crime. At the same time, he said the department has beefed up its patrols efforts, and he’s instructed his special response team to increase their presence in problem areas.

The conversation doesn’t end at the press conference. Pastor Jermone Glenn said there will be a community meeting to discuss viable solutions (to stop the violence) at Messiah Missionary Baptist at 8 a.m. He said everyone is welcome to attend and give input.

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  • Dan D

    Every year the same thing, hold meetings talk about what to do – then, no change. All your meetings and this program and that program do nothing to help. Get tough on gang members, lock them up and don't let them out. Capital punishment is the only thing that will change what goes on in GR. maybe after a few years of extreme punishment for all these gang members then kids will finally figure out that a gang is not the way to go. Right now they know they can kill someone and be back on the street in a couple of years. A gang member kills someone – they should have their life ended also.

  • Abused Swan

    The public are the police!. You may want to be careful with that, your government agency with turn against you. There is a man going all across America video recording people's stories of judicial corruption. He is making a documentary that should be out in June. He came to Michigan and video taped several of residents stories from Kent County and the east side of the state. Check out Lawless America and learn more. The parents across the United State of America are coming together under this new revolution.

  • ahkmet rimirez

    thse so-called community leaders care about stopping violence as much as the police care about catching criminals. these young punks are cowards why do you think they have guns? it does not matter if they shoot up a school or post office anyone that commits a gun crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law whether 10 years old or 90 years old…

  • Ken

    All of a sudden Chief Belk says it's the guns that are the problem "There's just too many guns on the streets". Looks to me that he just jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon. Let me tell you something chief, start arresting these wannabe gangbangers and keeping them off the streets instead of having sitdowns with them. You know exactly who they are, and yet they are still out there killing people. It's time you people started doing your job and stop laying it at our feet.

  • Cherrie Chandler

    Looking to do a Stop The Violence Fundraiser Ball. Getting all our community Leaders and Workers together. Enjoying ourselves. But also joining together to start more neighborhood watches, getting guns off the streets, getting gangs off the streets. Raising Money for these things.