Kalamazoo Public Safety

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The city of Kalamazoo is exploring grant opportunities to implement a national violence-reduction initiative, Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told the Kalamazoo City Commission Monday. Group Violence Intervention, formerly called Operation Ceasefire, is the brainchild of criminologist David Kennedy.

The new board has 12 members who will deal with complaints about the city's Public Safety Department.

Last year, Jacob Grassley was fatally shot by a Kalamazoo policeman while entering a Best Western hotel. Police reports say Grassley had been in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend earlier that day. Officers brought Grassley’s girlfriend to the hotel for her safety.

The forum will promote public dialogue about the relationship between Kalamazoo's Public Safety Department and the city's minority neighborhoods. This is a follow up to our radio series by Chris Killian.

Living Images Photography / iStock Photo

Like many cities, Kalamazoo has a trust problem. Many minority residents aren’t happy with the way they’re treated by the city’s Public Safety officers. And many in the department feel the public doesn’t give them enough credit. Could changing a largely white, male police force into one that’s more diverse help bridge that gap? In the last part of our series on the issue, WMUK’s Chris Killian reports on differing approaches to building better police-community relationships.

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