Public input sought amid string of Grand Rapids shootings

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids residents will have a chance to provide city officials with input Tuesday night after a string of shootings that injured four people in the last three days.

Leaders from the city and police department will take citizens’ pitches on ways to reduce gun violence from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the Grand Rapids Public Schools administration building, located at 1331 Franklin St. NE.

"We're going to talk about the violence that is happening and we're going to address it head-on,” said City Commissioner Senita Lenear. “I'm not going to shy away from asking specific questions and I'm looking for the community to come out and help me answer those questions because I don't know the answer and it's going to take all of us coming together to try and find solutions.”

The task force began in 2014 and has had three pitch nights since then, but tensions are running high after a 60-hour span where seven shootings took place.

Lenear, the task force’s lead commissioner, said it need the community’s help to be effective.

"Violence on every turn isn't what we want here in the city of Grand Rapids," she said.

Leaders within the Grand Rapids Police Department also asked for the community’s support while they investigate the uptick in violence.

“This is not just a police problem, this is a community issue, the police department has been held accountable, for several months now we've been under the gun for a variety of different issues, we need the community to come together and fight against this uptick in violent crime,” Interim Chief David Kiddle said.

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  • steve

    What’s the use in having such a meeting when not a damn thing will be accomplished? Other than give a small group of people, including the City Commission, led by Mayor Bliss, the opportunity to demonstrate how much they ‘care’ about the crime that’s rampant in the city lately, it’ll mean nothing. The city needs people that are ‘doers’ and not ‘talkers’ folks, and until that happens nothing will happen.

  • Sillyoldme

    Ms. Lenear is not who we want to hear from. How about letting GRPD do their jobs without constant criticism from the commission and media. C’mon Senita, do you really think the thugs and criminals are going to show up for your little town hall? SMH.

    • tired of the crap

      The reason Ms, Lanear is the “chairman” of this little dog and pony show is that most of the crime is happening under her watch. What is needed is for her to open her big, loud, bigoted mouth and tell the people of her district to speak up and be part of the solution, rather than being part of the d@mn problem and having “a policy of not speaking to the police” Everyone’s taxes help to pay for police protection for our city – why are certain groups so intent upon throwing their money away by not helping solve these crimes? Don’t even try to use fear of retribution – Silent Observer will take your information anonymously – ever heard of them? So you have no excuse NOT to help.

  • followjesus1963

    If the community and pastors get together to teach about Jesus and all the wisdom in The Holy Bible, then there will be change.

    • C

      Unfortunately, the community members that care and pastors that would get together aren’t the ones that need to change. It’s the thugs that need to change, but they’re not interested in doing so.

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