GRPD recognized for participating in epilepsy response training | Free press


The Grand Rapids Police Department has been applauded for recently participating in training to recognize and respond to people with epilepsy.

Lisa Peterson, of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN), spoke to Grand Rapids City Council on Monday, November 8 to present the police department with a Certificate of Excellence for their dedication to supporting people with epilepsy.

Peterson explained that epilepsy is a disease that is “not always understood”.

Epilepsy, sometimes called a seizure disorder, is a neurological condition of the brain characterized by a person having two or more unprovoked seizures, according to the EFMN. A seizure is a brief electrical surge in the brain that can cause seizures, changes in an individual’s behavior, and / or loss of consciousness.

Although seizures occur due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain, epilepsy is not a mental illness or mental disability. Other common misconceptions about epilepsy are that it is contagious and that all seizures are the same, both of which are wrong. Seizures can affect people of all ages in different ways.

“I am thrilled with this opportunity to expand education for this condition,” said Peterson who has organized several training sessions in the Grand Rapids area, most recently for community members at the Kiesler Wellness Center and for the Grand Rapids High School teaching staff.

“Everyone in the community can benefit from this knowledge,” added Peterson.

The training for the GRPD was suggested by a resident of Grand Rapids who lives with epilepsy and has experienced a misunderstanding among law enforcement officers regarding the condition and proper response techniques.

In other business at the city’s November 8 meeting, council:

• Approved minutes of the working meeting of October 25, 2021 and of the regular meeting of the municipal council.

• Verified requests approved for the period October 19 to November 1, 2021 for a total amount of $ 771,901.65.

• Accepted a grant from the United States Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for the Grand Rapids / Cohasset Industrial Park Infrastructure Project in the amount of $ 1,900,600. On July 15, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) informed the City that our request for a grant of $ 1,900,600 to fund approximately 50% of the infrastructure expansion at the former Ainsworth industrial site had been granted. On July 26, the city council authorized the mayor’s signature on the financial aid purse (form CD-450) which constituted the city’s acceptance of the EDA scholarship and the terms of the scholarship.

• Passed a resolution terminating the repayment obligations of the Debt Service Fund-2013A GO and transferring the remaining balance of approximately $ 211,435 to the Capital Projects Fund – Revolving Continuous Improvement Fund.

• Modification of the part-time eligibility list for winter maintenance.

• Establishment of a new eligibility list for firefighter trainees.

• Temporary and permanent easements approved for CP 2003-18, 21st Street SW extension project and payment authorized.

• Approval of a rental agreement with the Grand Rapids Amateur Hockey Association.

• Approved the purchase and payment of a lighting kit and awning for the Public Works Department.

• Adoption of a resolution calling for modifications to certain parts of the MSAS road network.

• Hired Ben Olson as a regular part-time maintenance employee at IRA Civic Center.

• Renewal of basic life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment through Unum.

• Authorization of a contract with Paul Bunyan for the television service at the fire station.

• Appointed and appointed Councilor Dale Adams to represent the Council on the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission.

Councilors Rick Blake and Tasha Connelly were absent on notice. The next Grand Rapids City Council meeting is November 22, 2021 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

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