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Swearing-in of new GR police chief Monday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's a historic day in Grand Rapids, where the police department is set to swear in its new police chief, Deputy Chief Eric Payne, who has been with the department for more than three decades.

He is also the city's first African American chief, who says the department will see some significant changes under his leadership.

"I think there's a lot of good that's going on with the Grand Rapids Police Department, I think I can make it even better," said Payne.

After a nationwide search by the City of Grand Rapids, Payne will be sworn in Monday, as the new chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

"He is the one who really wants to be here, wants to be in this community, has love for this community," said City Manager Mark Washington.

Payne steps into the top spot after 32 years on the force, saying he's ready to switch some things up.

"There will be changes, its not business as usual," he said, adding that his focus will be community policing, transparency and crime reduction.

"What I always try to do for the law enforcement community to understand people of color and also the community to understand law enforcement," Payne said. "It's about building that relationship."

He also says he will implement an official department policy for dealing with immigration-related scenarios and hopes to improve the department`s relationship with the community.

"I think everyone in the community wants the same thing, and that's a safe community and that's my number one priority," he said. "It's how we get there, is sometimes we come in conflict and we can break down those barriers and I welcome the challenge."

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4 comments

  • lml25

    “A nationwide search” ,by Mark Washington and we wind up with a local black deputy chief.Welcome to—Ghetto Rapids–officially now.All that’s left is to have a black mayor for the final nail–which is two-thirds pounded in already.

      • lml25

        They have black police chiefs all over the country–in the most crime infested locations of the US.The crime rate never goes down–it gets worse.By choosing a black chief of police,the city is throwing in the towel on law enforcement and instead,choosing to tolerate lawlessness by stressing “community involvement”.
        Payne said,”The police can’t enforce the law by arresting everyone.”Not everyone–just the lawbreakers–and we know who they tend to be.
        Give the guy a chance?They’ve done that unsuccessfully elsewhere–it will be the same here.All of it,is a process,in the decline of a once great city and country.

        • stop the madness

          Not sayin you are right but when we had the chance to get the heck out of the city years ago, I said buh-bye and never looked back.

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