GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There has been so much crime in Grand Rapids recently that it’s difficult to point to a map and see any part of the city where there hasn’t been a shooting or other weapons-related offense.
With 27 homicides to date this year, the total has surpassed the totals of 2018 and 2019 combined.
At a Thursday morning press conference near where one of the most recent victims, Nicholas Ingram, was shot and killed Sept. 11, Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Payne called the number “outrageous and disheartening.”
The chief said GRPD would again ramp up patrols this weekend, targeting criminals but also working to build a positive relationship with the community. Payne said officers would be strategic in their patrols, looking for people involved in crimes rather than low-level violations like cracked tailgates.
In a similar sweep a few weekends ago, GRPD arrested 34 people and seized several guns.
He called for cooperation from the community and urged witnesses to crimes to come forward to help combat the cycle of violence.
“We, as a city and a community, are saying enough is enough. The recent increase in violent crime is completely unacceptable. It is a total distortion of the values and character of Grand Rapids,” Payne said.
“Let us unite and how those emboldened to do harm that we will not stand for it,” he continued. “As always, we need eyes and ears in the community, but we really need those eyes and ears to speak. Silence is a form of complicity.”
He said the homicides and shootings, a string of thefts from car dealerships and other business break-ins were “all interconnected,” and added that he thought the pandemic was a factor, as well.
In the last 30 days, GRPD says it has seized 47 illegal guns and made 24 arrests for serious offenses. Looking at the Grand Rapids Crime Map and analyzing homicide and weapons records over the last 30 days, you can see GRPD has been busy with 108 different records displayed in that time span.
In a release, Payne said removing illegal guns from the streets will, in turn, reduce violent crime. He says the removal of illegal guns has been a priority of his administration since taking office in 2019.
He also urged legal gun owners to secure those weapons so they didn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Anyone with information about any crimes can call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.