State Reps. Bob Bezotte and Ann Bollin talk with Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy following a press conference announcing a plan to support law enforcement and provide resources to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve.
Proposal offers support for mental health services, training quality officers
State Rep. Ann Bollin and the Michigan House today announced a plan to support law enforcement and provide resources to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve.
Bollin, of Brighton Township, said the plan focuses on attracting new talent to the profession, developing the skills of existing police officers, funding important services like road patrols and community policing, and offering mental health support.
“The honorable men and women who put their own safety on the line to protect Michigan communities deserve our full support,” Bollin said. “Making sure police departments in Livingston County have the resources they need to recruit good officers and keep them on the force, and helping them hone the skills they need to do their jobs effectively, will ultimately strengthen the relationships our officers have with people in the communities across the state. We are fortunate in Livingston County to have the very best officers and some of the safest communities in the country.”
More specifically, the plan includes:
- Funding to support police, corrections officers, firefighters, and other first responders battling post-traumatic stress disorders or other mental health challenges.
- State support for recruiting strong candidates into police academies.
- Tuition assistance for people considering the academy.
- A work study program to give people an opportunity to consider a career in law enforcement.
- Funding for community policing initiatives shown to improve relationships between law enforcement officers and people in the neighborhoods they serve.
- Incentives for expanded use of body cameras.
- Resources for departments to provide training in critical areas.
- Signing bonuses and recruitment marketing to help attract new officers.
- State support for rural or “secondary” road patrols.
In total, the comprehensive plan includes important policy changes and $80 million in financial support. In order to begin some of the attraction programs and community policing as soon as possible, the parts of the plan that include a budget component were added to a supplemental budget bill approved by the House today. Other statutory changes, including future reforms still being developed, will be introduced and discussed in committee in the near future.
More details about the plan are available here.
Rep. Bollin, who served as Brighton Township clerk prior to her election to the House, says changes announced by the Secretary of State Tuesday are not enough to provide Michigan residents with the level of services they deserve.