Grand Rapids Police – Crime is Down – NFL Player Up

Officer Michael Harris addresses the audience at a ceremony for his 2016 Maytag Dependable Leader Award at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Officer Harris is receiving a $20,000 grant for his work with the Boys & Girls Club Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth. (Allison Farrand |



Today, the front page of the Grand Rapids Press highlights “Community Policing” entitling it “The Spirit of the law.” The article infers that crime in Grand Rapids is linked to a $2.5M community policing effort.


It is evident that the Grand Rapids police department believes that Black Lives Matter. To affirm that black lives matter does not presuppose that other lives do not matter. Community Policing appears to be having a positive impact in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids Police Department have embraced the community that they now serve.


The news report has as its centerpiece Dallas Cowboy safety, and Grand Rapids native Kavon Frazier, as a glowing example of the impact of community policing. Kavon raised by a single mother in a poverty stricken environment, was headed in the wrong direction until encountering officer Michael Harris and the community policing efforts of Grand Rapids police department.


“I grew up around officers and some were like father figures to me,” Frazier said. “Having a relationship with those officers was good, because all them bad stereotypes about police officers, especially in the black community, it basically shut them down.”


They never gave up on anyone, Kavon tells Justin Hicks, a reporter at MLive. “Not all officers are bad people, and it hurts that this stuff is going on, especially how I grew up” referring to the recent increase in violence against police officer. The officers in blue, have become more than uniforms to Kavon. This is the true value of community Policing.


It is my contention, from experience in law enforcement, that in every community there is a small and same recurrent element that is responsible for more than 90% of the crime. Further, elements responsible for crime are birth out of poverty and despair. Additionally, of the poverty stricken criminal elements responsible for violent crimes, 90% have great mental deficiencies. The deviant behaviors from this small minority is a known element to most police departments. Among this group, no amount of community policing will suffice. Deviant personalities we will have with us always.


At the heart of the community policing philosophy is the belief that not all person in a community are criminals, and non-deviant elements should not be treated as deviant elements. Community policing also puts forth the fact that insulating violent criminals from non-violent criminals, via officer and citizen training alike, is a way of reducing crime and stopping the growth thereof. Further, it is critical to understand that bias and unfair sentencing laws targeted at non-violent criminals does not add to the reduction in crimes, but rather adds to it, and furthers the bottom line of private prisons and the justice system cottage industry.


The main goal of community policing is the re-directing of “non-violent” criminal behavior, and familiarizing every body with every other body; this is a powerful means of projecting a truth that all lives matter.

New Urban Practice – Changing City


Capital Magnet Fund Development

Grand Rapids Downtown

Today, I received an email from a friend that I have not spoken with in a while. Wes Emert owns and operates the successful CityWide Real Estate Services in the Grand Rapids, Michigan Metropolitan area. “brother, what are the human elements that go beyond just placing capital in a piece of brick and mortar. Why should we develop core objectives for investing. Let’s blow it open and discuss. ”I responded, “these are critical issues, lets take action.”

A first-time study of the impact investment market in Chicago points to a significant unmet need for capital and a growing opportunity for investors. Commissioned by MacArthur and the Chicago Community Trust, the report by Next Street urges intermediaries to help mobilize capital and connect it to promising ventures. The report focuses on Chicago, but it is applicable to any urban area in America

Cities are a natural place to try to reduce inequality. So trumpets Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities. This is what he calls the “New Urban Practice.” Hecht makes the point that Eighty percent of our population is in cities and metros,” Hecht said. “If we want to bring about change, that’s an important place to focus, especially when you have innovative leaders willing to take risks.

This week the Grand Rapids, Michigan Business Journal reported that a professional soccer franchise, a new downtown hotel and a convention center expansion are among a list of proposed projects that could be undertaken in Grand Rapids over the next several years.

Also helping to under-gird New Urban Practice and connectivity is the Seamless Accelerator. It is apparent that Rick Devos, founder of Seamless and Start Garden, has instituted an effort of impactful investments by bringing together a diversity of people and cultures within the Start Garden mentor-ship and investment ecosystem in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust, MacArthur and Calvert Foundation announce Benefit Chicago, an innovative collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million in impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises in Chicago. It is this type of community effort and collaboration that will bring about equality and positive growth within Cities. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are excellent vehicles to acquire funds and invest those dollars to vital businesses within the community. The CDFI Fund has a pivotal role in generating economic growth and opportunity in some of the nation’s most distressed communities. By delivering resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector dollars, the CDFI Fund serves mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities.

The CDFI Capital Magnet Fund offers competitively awarded grants to finance affordable housing solutions and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income people and communities nationwide. This is the real change that communities recognize. From one $80 million award round in FY 2010, the Capital Magnet Fund has generated more than $1 billion of combined investments and has created over 9,000 affordable homes

Through the Capital Magnet Fund, the CDFI Fund provides competitively awarded grants to CDFIs and qualified non-profit housing organizations. These awards can be used to finance affordable housing activities, as well as related economic development activities and community service facilities, with the objective of revitalizing low-income communities and undeserved rural areas. Funding for the Capital Magnet Fund comes from allocations made by the Government-Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and varies from year to year.

As written on the Capital Magnet fund web page, “Each business financed, each job created, and each home built represents a critical step in the transformation of a life, a family, and a community.

This is real change.”