Frequency Asked Questions
Question: Where is the police department located and where do I park?
Answer: 1 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (NW corner of Division / Fulton) Citizens may park at any of the area city ramps or meter spots.
Question: What are the police department hours?
Answer: General business hours at the Police Department are Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm with the exception of holidays. The information desk and Watch Commander are available 24/7.
Question: I was a victim of a crime and the suspect was arrested. How do I learn if the suspect is still in the jail?
Answer: Crime victims have the right to know if the suspect has been released from jail. The best way to find this information is to call the Kent County Correctional Facility at 632-6301. This information can also be obtained online at Kent County’s website: www.Accesskent.com. Inmate information is provided under the Kent County Sheriff’s Department listing.
Question: I think the people living next to me are selling drugs. Who can I call?
Answer: The best way to report a drug house in your neighborhood is to call the Grand Rapids Police Vice Unit at 456-4800 and report the information. In addition, you can report the information anonymously through Silent Observer by calling 774-2345. You can also email Silent Observer at www.Silentobserver.org. Please provide as much detail as possible.
Question: How do I obtain a Personal Protection Order (PPO).
Answer: You must be at least 18 years old unless accompanied by someone of that age or older who will consent to be petitioner’s "next friend". You can petition for a PPO by going to the Kent County Court House, located at 180 Ottawa Ave., NW, Suite 3500. A valid ID is required.
Question: I have some information on a crime that occurred several weeks ago that would probably help solve the case. Who do I call?
Answer: To provide information for a crime that has happened in the past, you can contact the Detective Unit at 456-3380. Detective Unit office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After hours, information can be called in to the Watch Commander at 456-3604. You can also report crime tips anonymously at Silent Observer, 774-2345 or at Silentobserver.org.
Question: How do I add information to my police report?
Answer: Additional property that was discovered missing after the initial report or recently discovered information can be added to a report in two different ways. You can call the detective that handled the investigation and report it to him/her or you can call the Police Department at 456-3400 and a desk officer will add the missing property to your report.
Question: Can I make a police report on line?
Answer: Yes. Go to http://grcity.us and under "Resident" select "Report a Crime" under Public Safety. On-line reports can be made for the following types of crime: Gas Drive-off, Harassing Phone Calls, Theft, Theft from Vehicles, and Vandalism. The crime must have occurred in the City of Grand Rapids and the suspect must be unknown. If there is a known suspect, you must call 456-3400.
Question: How do I find out which Detective is assigned to my case?
Answer: The Grand Rapids Police Detective Unit is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can call the Detective Unit at 456-3380 to be directed to the assigned detective. It is helpful if you have your report number at hand when you call to speed up your service.
Question: Do individuals leave fingerprints on all items that are touched?
Answer: No. Many factors determine whether a print is deposited including the condition of the individual’s fingers (oily, dirty, clean, dry, etc.), the type of surface touched (smooth, porous, dusty, etc.), and environmental elements (weather).
Question: How long does it take for evidence to be analyzed?
Answer: Analysis time varies from a few hours to several months.
Question: Do crime scene technicians respond to all crime scenes?
Answer: No, they respond to the requests of officers and detectives based upon the particular scene and circumstances.
Question: How do I obtain a 24 hour liquor license for a non-profit organization?
Answer: The application process and forms can be found on the GRPD website here. This information is located under the category of Department Forms. For further information please contact the Vice Unit at 456-4800.
Question: Why is there an orange sticker on my vehicle?
Answer: A fellow citizen, snow plow driver, or police officer reported your vehicle as abandoned on the public roadway. Your vehicle must be moved within 48 hours from when it was tagged with the sticker or it will be towed at your expense.
Question: Can I report an abandoned vehicle?
Answer: Yes. Have the location and vehicle information (including license plate if possible) and call 456-3310. You will be prompted to leave a message with the details.
Question: What is the odd/even parking ordinance?
Answer: Seasonal Parking Rules, November 1 – April 1: To avoid being ticketed, please abide by the following rules when parking on streets that are posted with odd/even parking signs. PARK on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days from 1:00am to 6:00pm. PARK on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days from 1:00am to 6:00pm. From 6:00pm to 1:00 am the next day, parking is PERMITTED on both sides of the street unless there are signs otherwise restricting parking. Ensure that you are parked on the appropriate side of the street when restrictions go into effect at 1:00am, BEFORE YOU GO TO BED – THINK AHEAD! If you have questions please call 456-3400.
Question: How and when can I file an accident report?
Answer: Accident reports not made on the scene with a police officer must be made in person at the Grand Rapids Police Department. An Involved party must provide the desk officers with their driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance. The GRPD does not take accidents that occurred in parking lots or on other private property. This type of accident should be reported directly to the insurance company. Accidents where the total damage (all involved vehicles) is under $1,000 should be reported directly to the insurance company as well. Accidents that occurred more than five days from the time they were reported will not be documented by the GRPD.
Question: How do I find out about Crime in my neighborhood or a neighborhood I am moving into?
Answer: Please go to www.Crimemapping.com or please consult your Neighborhood Association. If you have further questions, you can call 456-3363.
Question: How do I get traffic enforcement in my neighborhood?
Answer: Contact your Service Area Commander. To determine your Service Area click here.
Question: My identity was stolen, what do I do?
Answer: Identity theft and fraud reports have to be reported in person either by the victim reporting the incident at the front desk or a patrol officer being dispatched to the victim’s location. The GRPD does require documentation verifying the complaint. This documentation could be credit card or bank account transaction history, fraudulent loan applications or other fraudulent account bills and applications.
Question: Somebody just tried to scam me through the telephone/internet/mail etc. What can I do?
Answer: Due to the fact that many crimes that occur over the internet are outside of the local police jurisdictions many of those crimes are referred to a federal agency. The local FBI Office telephone number is (616) 456-5489. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has a fraud hotline telephone number (877) 765-8388 and many of the telephone / mail scams that occur outside of the GRPD jurisdiction are referred to this telephone number. Should you have further questions or desire clarification, call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 456-3403.
Question: Who is my Community Police Officer?
Answer: You should contact your Service Area Commander. To determine what Service Area you reside or work in, please visit the GRPD website at grpolice.com here. You can also call 456-3363.
Question: How do I get involved in a Neighborhood Watch group?
Answer: Please consult your Neighborhood Association or call 456-3363.
Question: Where can I learn more about Crime Prevention or keeping my home secure?
Answer: The Crime Prevention Office has free information available to those who request it. Please call 456-3363 for more information.
Question: Do I (or someone I know) have a warrant?
Answer: The Grand Rapids Police Department does not provide warrant information over the phone or on 3rd parties. If you believe you have a warrant, either appear at the Police Department or the Court you believe may have issued the warrant.
Question: ICHAT says I have a warrant that I already took care of, what can I do?
Answer: Bring your ID to the Warrant Unit, a warrant check will be completed and a letter can be issued stating the warrant has been cleared if applicable.
Question: Where do I pay my traffic or parking ticket?
Answer: Contact the Court listed on the face of the ticket.
Question: Does my child need to be in a child seat?
Answer: Children under 4 years of age are required to be in an approved Child Restraint System (and in the rear seat if available). A child in a rear facing restraint system may be in the front seat ONLY if the passenger side airbag has been deactivated. Children ages 4-7 and under 4’ 9” tall are required to be in an approved child restraint system (booster seat). Children ages 8 to 16 must be buckled with the available seat belt regardless of where they are seated. This violation is a primary enforcement violation, meaning you can be stopped and ticketed for this violation alone.
Question: When does the Police Department auction off property and other items?
Answer: Bicycles and other property are auctioned periodically through M&W Incorporated. Call 785-5310 to determine when the next auction will be held.
Question: I have a burglary alarm in my residence. Do I require a permit?
Answer: Yes. Residential alarm permits are free, but are required by Grand Rapids City Ordinance. To receive the permit application, please call 456-3409. Once completed, the permit should be sent to: Grand Rapids Police, Attn Support Services Division, 1 Monroe Center, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Question: I have a burglary alarm in my business. Do I require a permit?
Answer: Yes. Business alarm permits are required by Grand Rapids City Ordinance and cost $25 with an annual renewal fee of $15. To receive the permit application, please call 456-3409. Once completed, the permit should be sent to: Grand Rapids Police, Attn Support Services Division, 1 Monroe Center, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Police records, reports, fingerprints, gun permits, background checks
Question: How do I get my fingerprints taken?
Answer: Fingerprints are taken at the Records Unit, Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm. Two different types of prints are available: Ink and LiveScan (electronic). Ink prints are $15 for residents and $20 for non-residents, additional cards are $5 each. LiveScan prints are normally ordered by employers (i.e. teachers, nurses, etc.) and require you to bring in the letter from the requestor which contains the Requestor ID#. LiveScan prints are $64.25 for residents and $69.25 for non-residents. Fees can be paid in cash or check only.
Question: How do I register a handgun?
Answer: Gun permit applications are accepted Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm. You must be a resident of the City of Grand Rapids, 18 years of age or older with a valid MI State ID which shows your current address. You will be required to complete the “Basic Safety Questionnaire” as required by State law. A gun permit application costs $5 (cash or check only) and may take several days to process. For further information call 456-3403 and choose option #4.
Question: I inherited a handgun and wish to sell it. How do I proceed?
Answer: If you inherited a handgun and you are also the Executor or Personal Representative of an Estate, and wish to sell the handgun, you do not need to register it in your name. However, the person purchasing the handgun from you must have a License to Purchase or CPL Pistol Sales Receipt in order for you to sell the handgun to that individual. If you choose to keep the gun for a period of time, then you will need to register it in your name. Refer to the FAQ labeled, “How do I register a handgun.”
Question: How do I obtain a copy of an accident or incident report?
Answer: You can conveniently obtain a copy of a traffic crash report by visiting authorizetransaction.com. You may also obtain a copy of a traffic crash report or an incident report via mail with a check or money order for $5 and a self addressed stamped envelope. Please include the accident or incident report number or give as much detail as possible to assist in locating the report. Reports may also be obtained in person at the Records Unit Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:45pm. A picture ID is required and the fee will be $5 (check or cash only). At times, reports may not be completed within the 3-5 business days normally stated due to the incident/accident needing further investigation. Therefore, it would be best if you have the report number to contact the Records Unit (456-3403/option 4) to inquire of the status.
Question: How do I obtain background check on someone else?
Answer: A background check which will include only an arrest history within the City of Grand Rapids can be obtained by mail or in person with a signed and notarized Authorization to Release form from the individual on whom you are requesting the Background Check. You will need to include aliases, maiden/married names, and date of birth of the individual. The fee is $6.00 (cash or check only). If you choose to make your request via mail, please submit a check made payable to the Grand Rapids Police Department in the amount of $6.00 and mail it to 1 Monroe Center NW – Grand Rapids, MI 49503 ATTN: RECORDS. Standard forms are available that can be mailed to you free of charge which you can have the individual fill out and then mail to us. For such forms or for further information, please contact the Records Unit at 456-3403/option 4.
Question: Can you tell me if I was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
Answer: No. The Police Department does not maintain convictions records. You will need to contact the 17th Circuit Court in regards to felonies, 616-632-5480 or the 61st District Court in regards to misdemeanors, 616-632-5525. Both courts are located at 180 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Vehicle Impound Information
Question: My vehicle was impounded, how do I get it out?
Answer: The registered owner must report to the Grand Rapids Police Department with identification. If the registered owner’s driver’s license is not valid, they must have two licensed drivers with them (towing out is an option). All fees will be paid at GRPD and the registered owner will be provided with release forms to be turned in to the impound lot for the release of the vehicle. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Vehicles may only be released to registered owners or a third party with a notarized letter from the registered owner authorizing GRPD to release the vehicle.
Question: Where is the impound lot?
Answer: 1202 Market Ave., SW, but you must obtain your release paperwork from the Grand Rapids Police Department, located at 1 Monroe Center NW.
Question: How much will it cost to get my car out of impound?
Answer: Please call 456-3400 (select the “impound” or “information desk” option) to determine the amount owed on an impounded vehicle. Fees may be paid with cash, check, or credit. When paying with cash, exact change is required. This information can be obtained by calling 616-456-3400, and selecting the “impound” or “information desk” option.
Internal Affairs Unit
Question: If a complaint is made against an officer, are criminal charges dismissed?
Answer: No, making a complaint against an officer will not get criminal charges dismissed, your case will still need to go through the regular court process.
Question: Can the Grand Rapids Police Department take a complaint about an employee from another agency?
Answer: No, GRPD IAU only takes complaints about GRPD officers and civilian employees.
Question: Charges were not filed against the suspect in my case. Does this mean the officer was not diligent in their duties?
Answer: No, the decision to file charges against a suspect ultimately lies with the County Prosecutor or City Attorney. Having charges denied does not necessarily mean the officer was not diligent in their work.
Question: Doesn’t an officer have to read me my rights when they arrest me?
Answer: It depends on the circumstances, but the simple answer is no. Miranda warnings (“rights”) are usually read to a suspect who is in custody prior to being questioned as the suspect in an investigation. Many arrests do not involve questioning at the point of the arrest and therefore Miranda warnings are not needed.
Question: Do I need to come down to the Police Department to make a complaint against an employee?
Answer: No, complainants are encouraged to be taken in person, however, complaints may also be received by telephone, fax, e-mail, mail or through a third party. Internal Affairs can be reached by calling 456-3480.
Question: What types of crimes do I report to the Vice Unit?
Answer: Drug complaints, prostitution and commercialized sex complaints, alcohol offenses relating to underage persons, licensing violations of licensed establishments or illegal alcohol business, and gambling and tobacco violations.
Question: How and when should I report a complaint or violation to the Vice Unit?
• Complaints and tips may be provided to the Vice Unit by;
- Calling the Vice Unit at 616-456-4800
- E-mailing the Vice Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calling Silent Observer at 616-774-2345
- When should I make a complaint with the Vice Unit;
- If the problem is an on-going issue
- If the information you can provide will assist in a future investigation
- If the information is to make the Vice Unit aware of illegal activities
- If you wish to discuss the issue with a Vice Unit detective
- If the issue is currently occurring and there is no emergency present you should contact the GRPD non-emergency number at 616-456-3400.
Example of this would be an on-going drug sale or use on the street or a prostitute out in a neighborhood currently.
Question: When reporting a complaint to the Vice Unit, what information am I expected to provide?
Answer: The more details you can provide the better the chances for a successful investigation. This would include any information that is available such as;
- Names of those involved or nicknames if known
- Physical descriptions of those involved
- The actual address if known, including specific apartment
- The exact times and days of the week the illegal activity is occurring
- Any vehicles that may be involved with a full description including the license plate if possible.
- The type of illegal activity or if drug related the specific drug involved
- You are not required to provide your personal information but if you would like follow up with a detective you may provide us your name and contact number. You may ask that this information be kept confidential.
Question: My money or property was seized during an investigation, how do I make a claim?
• If you have had personal property that was seized pursuant to a drug investigation you should have been provided a seizure form. If you have received this form you need to contact the Vice Unit within 20 days of the seizure to discuss the process and file a claim. Please have the police report number found on the seizure form available for better service.
• If you property was taken from you but you were not provided a seizure form contact the Vice Unit to discuss the process. The property may be subject to seizure, taken as evidence in the investigation or it may be able to be returned to you during the investigation.
Question: Which parks within the City of Grand Rapids are available for reservations?
Answer: Garfield, McKay Jaycees, Wilcox, Riverside, and Richmond.
Question: Can I get married on one of the downtown pedestrian bridges?
Answer: Yes, contact the office of Special Events at 456-3378 to obtain an application.
Question: Where is the Office of Special Events located?
Answer: We are located inside the Police Department at One Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Question: How long can I reserve a park?
Answer: City of Grand Rapids park reservations are full day rentals only.
Question: How can I become an event vendor?
Answer: To be a licensed vendor within the City of Grand Rapids you must contact the City Clerk’s office at 456-3010. Once you are a licensed vendor, in order to vend at a special event you must contact the Special Events Office to get the event coordinator’s contact information.