House Republicans, law enforcement present plan to support local police

Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth and other members of the House Republican caucus who have worked in law enforcement today announced a plan to support law enforcement, strengthen the criminal justice system and expand community policing statewide. The lawmakers were joined by county sheriffs, local police officers and representatives from police chiefs, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and the Police Officers Association of Michigan.

“Local departments across the state face several long-term challenges that hamper the quality of police work and threaten the future of this profession,” said Chairman Wentworth, who served as a military police officer in the US Army. “At the same time, the police are more than ever under the microscope. We must rise to the occasion and provide the help our local officers need to do the job and keep our communities safe.

The plan includes several elements to help attract new talent to the profession, develop the skills of existing police officers and fund important services like highway patrols and community policing. Changes include the following:

  • Tuition assistance for those considering the police academy
  • A work-study program to give people the opportunity to consider a career
  • Incentives for community policing
  • Incentives for increased use of body cameras
  • Incentives for de-escalation training
  • Access to mental health services for police, correctional workers and other first responders
  • A signing bonus for new leaders
  • State support for secondary highway patrols
  • State support for the recruitment of strong candidates in the academies

“It’s just the first step,” Wentworth said. “House Republicans will continue to make supporting our law enforcement community a priority, and we will continue to develop policies that will help them do their jobs and improve our criminal justice system across the state. .

“We want our men and women in uniform to know we hear them. We understand the challenges they face. And we’re here to help.

The Michigan House is finalizing a supplemental budget bill today that affects the current fiscal year. In order to get some of the attraction and community policing programs started as soon as possible, the parts of the plan that include a budget element will be discussed in the House this afternoon so that they can be included in this supplementary bill. Further statutory changes, including future reforms still in the pipeline, will be introduced and discussed in committee in the near future.