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Grand Rapids has the largest percentage of the budget going to the police than any other urban communities in Michigan

June 6, 2022

According to the data provided by the Action Center on Race & The Economy (ACRE), Grand Rapids has the largest percentage of their city budget going to policing, compared to other urban communities throughout Michigan.

If you go to this link, you can write in Grand Rapids, where it says Enter a City. You read that the 2023 Grand Rapids City Budget comes to $155,955,117, with a police budget of $62,318,226. This means that 40% of the City’s budget is going towards policing.

In many ways this data is astounding, not only because Grand Rapids is constantly promoting themselves as a “great place to raised a family,” but also because of the fact that there has been increased GRPD harassment, intimidation, arrest and violence directed at members of the BIPOP communities in recent years, culminating in the GRPD killing of Patrick Lyoya on April 4th. 

The 40% of the Grand Rapids City Budget, is well over the City Charter mandated 32% that was the result of a ballot initiative in 1995, where most City officials and the Grand Rapids Police Department were endorsing.  You can read all of the source documents for this campaign, which can be found on the Grand Rapids People’s History Project site.

So, Grand Rapids is 8% over the City Charter mandated level, which is fairly substantial. In fact, 8% of the total Grand Rapids City Budget, rounded up to 156 Million, would be $12,480,000. Imagine if nearly $12.5 million were invested in the Black community, which is exactly what the Defund the GRPD and the Defund the Police movement nationally have been asking for……a Divest/Invest strategy.

The data on the Action Center on Race & The Economy also shows that Grand Rapids has the highest percent of their budget going to policing, compared to other urban communities in Michigan. If you go back to the link, then click the View All button, you can see the breakdown of police funding in states across the country. Here is the breakdown for Michigan, which shows that Grand Rapids is slightly higher than Sterling Heights and Warren, but 11% higher than Detroit.

The Justice4Patrick Movement, along with Defund the GRPD and many other community-based groups in Grand Rapids, having been calling for a reduction in GRPD funding since the May 30th uprising in this city. It is scandalous that Grand Rapids spends so much of the community’s money on policing, especially since the City of Grand Rapids is facing significant resistance after the GRPD murder of Patrick Lyoya. #DefundtheGRPD #Justice4Patrick

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