Whitmer announces MI Safe Community investment

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On August 16, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer put forward the MI Safe Communities framework to reduce violent crime while increasing public safety across Michigan. This proposal, which will utilize American Rescue Plan dollars to put Michigan’s public safety first, works to ensure that every Michigander, no matter where they live or who they are, can live freely and safely.

“Every Michigander, no matter where they live or who they are, deserves to live safely. As a former prosecutor, I am committed to protecting public safety and reducing crime so we can build strong, vibrant communities together,” said Whitmer. “We must put Michiganders first by investing in law enforcement officers, getting illegal guns off our streets, and pursuing investments in jobs, justice, and education. I will work with anyone to bring down crime and help Michiganders feel safe in their community. Together, we can build a safer, more just Michigan where every family can thrive, where every kid can get a great education, and where every person has a path to a good-paying, high-skill job.

Whitmer and her administration recently met with police officers, community leaders, faith leaders, and families to gather as many perspectives as possible to ensure that these policies would be reflective and inclusive of views from around Michigan. Whitmer remains committed to working with law enforcement officers, police organizations, and unions to help them better serve communities across Michigan.

“Today’s announced public safety proposal is a comprehensive plan that addresses many facets of this important issue,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Every person in Michigan, no matter where they live or who they are, deserves to live freely and safely in a way that enables them to be their best selves. Yet we recognize that is not and has not been true for too many communities across Michigan today, particularly for many Black Michiganders and other communities of color. We have seen that when law enforcement professionals live in the communities they serve, building and sustaining positive police-community relationships is much more possible and productive.
This plan allows for police officers to receive more support and training, helping them to serve residents better. I am encouraged to see this progress and a plan that recognizes and works to improve on the hardships communities of color across our state face. We look forward to continuing to invest in all of the mechanisms available to us to create communities where every person feels safe, with their needs met, knowing that the state of Michigan is invested in their future.”

Whitmer’s public safety proposal includes investing more money into Michigan’s police departments to strengthen training policies and programs and foster collaboration between the Michigan State Police and local departments on specialty services. Since taking office, the governor has signed budget bills delivering $1.4 billion to local governments to help them fund local police, fire departments, and emergency medical services. She has also delivered $40 million in COVID hazard pay for local officers and first-responders and over $10 million premium pay for MSP troopers. These dollars help ensure police are better equipped to fight crime today and have the resources to fight crime tomorrow.

The second aspect of Whitmer’s proposal focuses on getting illegal guns off the streets. Whitmer also proposes increasing the number of visiting judges to tackle the backlog which has piled up during the pandemic, to ensure folks get the due process faster and ensure justice in their community.

Whitmer’s proposal includes holistic investments to expand opportunity through our education, jobs, and justice system. Through a partnership with the Biden Administration, Detroit is one of fifteen jurisdictions nationally boosting investment in Collaborative Community Violence Intervention Programs, which help prevent retaliatory violence. Investment in hospital-based violence intervention programs helps to provide counseling, peer support, mediation, and social services to hospital patients recovering from violent injuries and prevent further violence and injuries.

Recently, Whitmer and legislature worked together to put Michigan students first and enact the most significant education investment in state history, including a historic investment for schools to hire more nurses, counselors, and social workers. Early investments in mental and social health help reduce crime in the long run.

“I am ecstatic that Gov. Whitmer is taking such a deep dive into Michigan’s massive public safety issues. I am confident that these discussion are going to be fruitful, continuous, and solution oriented. While funding police officers is important, I must emphasize that properly funding prosecutors, focusing on mental health solutions for defendants and the victims of crime, and focusing on global and holistic results will ultimately be what drives down crime,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. “The old ways of doing things no longer work especially since family violence, gun violence, and criminal driving offenses are totally out of control.


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