Grand Rapids wouldn’t ‘directly’ use federal coronavirus funds toward proposed ShotSpotter

Grand Rapids wouldn’t ‘directly’ use federal coronavirus funds toward proposed ShotSpotter

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne said the city cannot legally use federal coronavirus aid funds on the proposed purchase of a ShotSpotter system in the city. Pictured is an officer inside department headquarters. (Cory Morse | MLive.com) Cory Morse GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids would not “directly” use federal coronavirus relief dollars on a proposed gunfire detection system because it isn’t legal to do so, according to the city’s police chief. “At this time we’re looking for funding for ShotSpotter,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne said during a Monday evening, Nov. 2, town hall on the proposed ShotSpotter project. “The CARES funding would not be directly used for ShotSpotter. We would utilize the funding for other crime reduction strategies that we have in place.” Payne gave that remark after several people called in to the virtual town hall questioning the use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars on the proposed project. The callers were referring to the $500,000 in CARES Act dollars set aside in late October by county leaders for possible use on a ShotSpotter system in Grand Rapids amid a two-decade high in homicides in the city this year. “The ShotSpotter is not directly related to COVID funding,” Payne said. “The funding, if approved, will go toward our overall crime reduction strategy of gun violence. We will utilize all of the funding for all eligible and legal expenses consistent with the cares act. ShotSpotter is not one of them.” The […]

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