Community Relations Service
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE (CRS)
ANNOUNCES MEDIATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT AND
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP COALITION IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
| U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) announced that a mediation agreement resolving community concerns over perceived bias-based policing and improving police-community relations between the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Police Department and the Grand Rapids Community Leadership Coalition will be signed on Monday, January 20, 2003.
The signing will take place at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Eberhard Center, Grand Valley State University, 301 W. Fulton Street. Press are invited to attend. For other location details contact Annette Guilfoyle, City of Grand Rapids, Public Information Officer at 616/456-3039, or Walter Brame, President and CEO, Grand Rapids Urban League, 616/245-2207.
"Mediation agreements build lasting relationships between the parties and are the basis for effectively resolving not only the issues and concerns which brought them together in the first place, but future issues which may arise," said CRS Director Sharee M. Freeman.
At the request of the Grand Rapids Community Leadership Coalition, (the Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance of Grand Rapids and Vicinity, Grand Rapids Urban League, Greater Grand Rapids NAACP, the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, Michigan Organizing Project and Latin American Services) and the Grand Rapids Police Department, CRS convened mediation sessions on March 21 and 25, April 8 and 22, May 20, August 12, and November 20, 2002, to improve communication and relations between communities of color and members of law enforcement in the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Through these mediation sessions, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Grand Rapids Community Leadership Coalition have agreed upon 14 measures resolving the dispute which include: cooperative implementation of the agreement, establishment of a police chief advisory committee, traffic stop data collection program, expanded citizens complaint review process, recruitment of police officers of color, community-based healing racism institute, citizens police academy training, police officer accountability, community service assessment surveys, and cooperation in resolving future community crises together.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service offers conflict resolution and mediation services to communities affected by issues of race, ethnicity and national origin. For more information about the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service please visit the CRS website at www.usdoj.gov/crs, or contact its Headquarters office in Washington, D.C. at 202/305-2935.