Grand Rapids (MI) Police Department Wins COPS Office Photo Contest

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, May 27, 2022
COPS Office Public Affairs
(202) 514-9079


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is pleased to feature the Grand Rapids (MI) Police Department (GRPD) as its “Community Policing in Action” Photo Contest winner for February 2022.

The GRPD, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids (BGCGR), and the local clergy have formed a partnership focused on developing and strengthening relationships with Grand Rapids children and families. The partnership offers several programs to Grand Rapids community members to assist with financial solutions, mentorships, homeless outreach, recidivism reduction, and much more.

The winning photo features GRPD Officer Javo’n Sanders helping a student with his homework, which is just one example how of GRPD officers go above and beyond typical officer duties to support their community. “What I love about my work is the connection to the community,” says Officer Sanders. “I want to make a difference in their lives.”

The partnership between the GRPD and BGCGR has helped give back to the community in a myriad of ways. For instance, in 2020, BGCGR supplied laptops and workspace in any of its three physical locations for students to attend school virtually. More than 300 young students took advantage of this opportunity, and many GRPD officers were on site and ready to help the children with their schoolwork. The success of this project was apparent: 84 percent of the participating students received mostly A and B grades on their schoolwork.

View the winning photo on the COPS Office website, as well as on the COPS Office’s official Twitter profile and Facebook page. GRPD’s commitment to community policing and its dedication to protecting members of the Grand Rapids community are also chronicled in the February 2022 edition of the COPS Office e-newsletter, the Community Policing Dispatch.

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to agency for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 135,000 officers.