GRPD chief concerned about number of murders in city

GPRD Chief David Rahinsky presents crime statistics from 2017 to city leaders on Nov. 28, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky informed city leaders that crime is down Tuesday morning.

However, he said he is concerned about the number of people who have been murdered so far in 2017.

In a presentation that lasted less than an hour, Rahinsky gave statistics reflecting what he said is a job well-done by the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Overall, major crime is on track to be down by hundreds of incidents.

The most serious crimes are what the city classified as Part 1 offenses, which includes crimes such as murder, rape and robbery, among others.

In 2017, police reported 6,533 incidents in this category, on pace to be down from the 2016 total of 7,217 and 2015’s total of 7,759.

Part II offenses are lesser crimes also on track to be down in comparison to the two previous years. So far in 2017, police said 8,705 crimes were reported in this category compared to 9,382 in 2016 and 9,892 in 2015.

“They’re the result of a lot of hard work,” Rahinsky said. “In terms of being able to measure how we’re doing collectively, a steady decrease over the last three years, I think, shows that what we’re doing is working.”

When asked about his top concern in the statistic, the chief answered quickly.

“The murder numbers, obviously, are concerning,” he said.

Rahinsky reported 12 murder incidents so far this year that claimed 13 lives. An additional “homicide” was declared justified after an incident where an officer shot a suspect, which was not counted in the statistics.

Rahinsky said getting illegal guns off the street will be key in lowering the homicide rate — an effort set back after a rash of gun thefts from businesses put more than 100 illegal guns on the streets.

Among the murder victims in 2017 was Cynthia Jackson’s 22-year-old son Daran Adams-Jackson. He was shot to death in his home in October. No one has been charged in his death.

“It’s been a month and six days,” Jackson said. “Someone chose to do this.”

Jackson was startled to learn that her son was one of 13 people killed in criminal incidents in Grand Rapids so far this year.

“Thats absolutely ludicrous, crazy, stupid,” Jackson said. “This is our home.”

Arrests have been made in six of the 12 criminal homicide incidents, a number Rahinsky said is sure to rise.

“Our detectives are tenacious,” Rahinsky said. “Cases that occurred this year will be cleared in calendar year 2018. So, I’m confident that we’ll continue with our extremely high clearance rate which is, again, reflective of how hard the detectives work.”