GRPD doubling units following Dallas police shooting

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department is doubling up on units after five officers were killed and seven others injured in Dallas.

A lieutenant with Grand Rapids police told 24 Hour News 8 that they would have two officers together instead of one following orders from the deputy chief.

Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas Thursday night, killing five officers and injuring seven others during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.

Three people are in custody and a fourth suspect died during a standoff with police, said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. Thursday while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Brown told reporters the snipers fired “ambush style” upon the officers. Two civilians were also wounded, Rawlings said.

Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker tweeted the following message Friday morning: “Grieving with Dallas law enforcement community — we all lose on this one.”

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department tweeted they were “mourning the loss of our fellow officers in Dallas” and are standing strong with the Dallas Police Department.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss also took to Twitter writing “my heart is heavy with the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the officers in Dallas.”

Michigan State Police Metro Detroit offered its condolences on Twitter saying in part that their hearts are heavy and they are praying for the Dallas Police Department.

And on Friday, Andy Binge, the president of the Grand Rapids Police Officers’ Association, released the following statement:

“On behalf of our members and our families I wish to express our deepest sorrow regarding the calculated and callous murder of the Dallas Police Officers last night. Every police officer feels a kinship with the Dallas Police Department and feels an outrage about this heinous act. There is obvious emotional reactions and language being used on every side of this event. Our GRPOA officers are calling for calm and sensibility. The officers in the Grand Rapids Police Department are educated, well trained and highly professional. Our community has never seen an event like those depicted on Facebook. We are human. We are not perfect. We are faced with situations of enormous uncertainty. Every one of us, like the officers in Dallas, goes to work with a goal to come home after our shift. Tragically officers are killed in the line of duty. The last two years has seen a spike in police being fatally wounded. Our hope is that good people will take the steps needed to open up a dialogue with police officers. Our Chief is doing exemplary work in the community, listening and learning how to create training and procedures that will build a better under¬standing of and for everyone. We salute and support his work and have plans to engage the community as well. Please pray for the victims in last nights ambush and their families. We should all pray for civility and the courage to face our problems together.”

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