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Grand Rapids says the city must do better to rebound from the pandemic


Normal is not good enough.

That was one of the messages from Grand Rapids mayor Rosalynn Bliss in her state of the city address Tuesday.

The mayor says many people are looking for a return to normal after the pandemic. But she says normal isn’t good enough for many of the city’s residents who struggled to afford housing before the pandemic. Or who faced lead poisoning from paint. Or who couldn’t find a good job.

She says one way the city has to improve is in policing.

GRPD is already testing new innovative ways to respond to certain calls for service, as not every incident is an emergency that requires an immediate police response. In some cases another department may be best positioned to meet the need and a police response may not be needed at all.

The mayor stopped short of calling for a budget cut in the police department, which some commissioners had supported.