Grand Rapids selects public safety watchdog

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids has named the man who was serving as its interim public safety watchdog to the job permanently.

Brandon Davis was appointed the oversight and public accountability director Tuesday, the city said.

“I look forward to continuing to help to create and improve just outcomes and respectful relationships between public safety and community,” Davis said in a statement from the city. “I am proud of the strategic framework the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability has created in partnership with stakeholders and I look forward to leading this pivotal office in our safe community efforts.”

Davis was among three finalists for the job who were interviewed in a virtual town hall last week. He has been doing the job on an interim basis since August. A Detroit native, he previously held roles as a labor relations specialist for Grand Rapids and an assistant prosecutor for Muskegon County.

The oversight and public accountability director’s job is to build and maintain the trust of the public and serve as a connection between the fire and police departments. Davis will also oversee independent reviews and investigate alleged misconduct of city employees.

In selecting him, City Manager Mark Washington cited Davis’ understanding of how public safety works and a “proven ability to … maintain public trust.”