GRPD swears in most diverse class of recruits in years

Ten officers were sworn in to the Grand Rapids Police Department on Oct. 5, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The events in Las Vegas earlier this week were not far from the minds of officers and family members, as 10 new recruits were sworn in as Grand Rapids police officers Thursday afternoon.

“The men and woman of that organization, that law enforcement agency, ran towards the gunfire, as opposed to away,” GRPD Chief David Rahinksy said.

Ten new officers joined the ranks of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

“These individuals who are being sworn in today are taking that next step,” Rahinsky said. “They’re swearing to protect the community, whether that means putting themselves in great danger, whether it means kneeling down to help a child, or to protect the weakest among us, they’re here to protect and serve.”

The department says this is the most diverse class in recent years and it is the first class that didn’t have to pay their own way through the academy.

Three African-American men, one Hispanic man, one Asian female, three white females and two white males took the oath.

Grand Rapids picked up the cost of their academy training as a part of the department’s diversification efforts.

In the past, GRPD recruits had to already have their Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards certifications.

That training is required to be an officer. But city leaders felt it also limited the pool of candidates.

“In addition to the diversity is the quality, these 10 individuals competed with over 1,300 other individuals. So we’re glad we got the cream of the crop,” Rahinsky said.

They will spend the next 21 weeks riding with veteran officers for the field training before being sent out on their own.