The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) welcomed four new national law enforcement partners to the Strike Force, for a total of 34 agencies and offices committed to deterring, detecting, investigating and prosecuting antitrust crimes and related schemes that target government procurement, grants and program funding at all levels of government.

Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on the number of illegal guns taken off the streets as a part of the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program. Since the operation began, law enforcement officials have conducted 1,448 check-ins with felony offenders, leading to 194 illegal guns taken off the street before they could be used in commission of a crime. During sweeps, officers have also recovered countless illegal drugs and ammunition. 

“As governor, my top priority is the safety and security of our families and communities,” said Whitmer. “Today, I am proud to announce that Operation Safe Neighborhoods has taken 194 illegal guns off the street before they could be used in commission of a crime. This is a part of our work to make our streets safer and stop violence in our communities. As a former prosecutor, I am proud that we have worked across the aisle to invest over $1 billion in public safety, send local governments more resources than they have received in decades to hire and support law enforcement officers, and doubled secondary road patrols to keep people safe on the road. I will continue working with law enforcement and bipartisan state and local officials to fund public safety, reduce crime, and prevent gun violence.” 

Operation Safe Neighborhoods is a statewide crack down on crime aimed at reducing gun violence by getting illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of people who cannot legally be in possession of a gun due to prior criminal history. 

“Every Michigander deserves to live in safe communities,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “When policymakers do the work to support police-community relationships, we can make real change and prevent crime in the first place. Governor Whitmer and I will continue to invest in all of the mechanisms available to us to create communities where every person feels safe, knowing that the state of Michigan is invested in their future.” 

“I have partnered with attorneys general across our country to address the proliferation of illegal firearms and get these weapons off our streets,” said Michigan Attorney General Nessel. “People who circumvent the legal process for obtaining a firearm pose a serious threat to our communities. I will continue to enforce the law and hold criminals accountable.” 

“Our mission as a department is creating a safer Michigan and our field agents play a crucial role in that effort. By partnering with local law enforcement on these targeted actions, we are helping to take guns and drugs off our streets, which means less crime and fewer victims,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said.  

“Our troopers see the deadly results and devastating impact illegal guns have on communities every day, and I commend the Michigan Department of Corrections for their work,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. 

Nearly one in three reported violent crimes in Michigan involve a firearm, and in the first half of 2022, over 450 Michiganders have lost their lives due to gun violence. The new initiative builds on Whitmer’s MI Safe Communities program that she launched last summer to invest in local police, get illegal guns off the street, and fund expanded opportunities in jobs, education, and the justice system. 


About Operation Safe Neighborhoods  

Recently, MDOC parole and probation agents teamed with local law enforcement across the state and have been conducting enhanced compliance checks on probationers and parolees who are legally prohibited from possessing a gun. 

There are roughly 32,000 probationers and 8,500 parolees in the state, of which 20 percent have been convicted previously of a gun crime. These individuals are supervised by more than 1,000 MDOC parole and probation agents. The plan the department devised and implemented is aimed at the strategic targeting of high-risk individuals who have weapons possession in their criminal history that could be used to commit further crime. 


Whitmer’s $1 billion record breaking public safety investments  

As a former prosecutor, public safety is a core issue for Whitmer. She has worked closely with local leaders, law enforcement officers, and community organizations to ensure people feel safe in their neighborhoods. Since taking office, she has signed four balanced, bipartisan budgets, each making record investments to help communities fund local law enforcement departments and hire more first responders.  

In the balanced, bipartisan budget Whitmer signed in July, she made the largest investment in public safety since taking office: $670,315,000. This investment brings the total funding for first responders and public safety initiatives under the Whitmer-Gilchrist administration to $1,056,267,100. 

Last summer, the governor proposed MI Safe Communities, a plan to invest $75 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to reduce crime and keep families safe by getting illegal firearms of the street, tackle the criminal court backlog, expand resources available to law enforcement, and address the root causes of crime by investing in jobs programs, counseling, and education. ? 


Whitmer’s criminal justice investments  

Whitmer has also worked across the aisle to enact historic criminal justice reform. She signed bipartisan “Clean Slate” legislation to help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders emerge from the criminal justice system with enhanced opportunities for jobs and housing, empowering them to pursue their full potential. She also launched task forces to address pretrial incarceration and juvenile justice and pursued reforms to improve relationships between law enforcement and the people they serve.??  

Last week, Whitmer signed her fourth balanced, bipartisan budget that included funding for Jobs Court, a program that offers non-violent, low-level offenders gainful employment with local partnering small businesses.