Asian Pacific Festival in Downtown Grand Rapids (2023)

Safe and Connected Communities Sub-Committee

The Safe and Connected Communities Sub-Committee focuses on enhancing relationships and communication between local law enforcement and New Americans. This sub-committee is made of personnel from the community, law enforcement, prosecutor’s office, public and private business. The focus is on enhancing transparency and accountability between local law enforcement and the communities they serve.


Enhance relations and communication between New Americans and law enforcement to build trust, connections, and solutions that serve and protect the community, while embracing public safety as a collaborative effort.

Recommendation 1

Increase multi-language and cultural competency skills among law enforcement and staff.

  • Strategy 1

    In partnership with community organizations, provide language training for law enforcement to increase bilingual skills and cultural competency focused on basic procedures.

  • Strategy 2

    Prioritize multilingual skills and cultural competency training in hires, promotions, and among all staff.

Recommendation 2

Build relationships between law enforcement and diverse cultures.

  • Strategy 1

    Supplement ongoing cultural competency training with New American guest speakers and trainers.

  • Strategy 2

    Partner with New American community leaders to enhance engagement and proactive interactions of law enforcement at community events.

  • Strategy 3

    Foster positive youth engagement with law enforcement.

Recommendation 3

Enhance accountability and transparency for the community.

  • Strategy 1

    Publicly share data on law enforcement policies, jail population, arrest, use of deadly force, and resident complaint statistics.

  • Strategy 2

    Educate and promote the entire process to file law enforcement complaints with an impartial point of contact within an organization such as a corporate counsel office or human resources department or another neutral partner.

Recommendation 4

Increase New Americans’ awareness and understanding of laws, the judicial system, and resources in the United States.

  • Strategy 1

    Know Your Rights and Responsibilities workshops co-presented by law enforcement, lawyers, and community advocates.

  • Strategy 2

    Recruit New Americans to Citizens Police Academy programs.


An annual connectedness and belonging survey will be compared to initial responses and media engagement will be tracked.


Frequently Asked Questions from Immigrants to Law Enforcement

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Meetings are hosted the third Monday of every month. Please email for location and time.