Kalamazoo Public Safety

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.

Danny Bailey / iStock Photo

The City of Kalamazoo had a violent summer this year. There was a significant increase in gun-related violence and several deaths, including the murder of a young boy in the Edison neighborhood. That incident, and others, aggravated a sense of mistrust in Kalamazoo’s Public Safety Department among the city’s minority residents. WMUK’s Chris Killian reports in the second of three reports about the “trust gap”.

Alex Schmidt / iStock Photo

Police officers fight crime but to do that they face a bigger challenge: getting their communities to trust them. Today we begin a three-part series on what some call a “trust gap” between Kalamazoo’s Public Safety Department and minority residents. ​For the first report in this series, WMUK’s Chris Killian rode with a Public Safety officer to see how the issue looks to his eyes. This report contains some adult language.