Governor Whitmer Announces MI Safe Communities Investment to Reduce Crime, Support Local Law Enforcement

Governor Whitmer Announces MI Safe Communities Investment to Reduce Crime, Support Local Law Enforcement

August 16, 2021 | Lansing, MI | AMN – Today, Governor 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 Governor 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. 

Throughout the past month, Governor Whitmer and her administration 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. Governor 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.” 

Governor 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 Governor Whitmer’s proposal focuses on getting illegal guns off the streets. Governor 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.    

Governor 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, Governor 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. 

Quotes from public officials: 

“I am ecstatic that Governor 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 Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor. “The old ways of doing things no longer work especially since family violence, gun violence, and criminal driving offenses are totally out of control.” 

“I want to commend Governor Whitmer’s commitment and leadership to addressing the rise in violent crimes and our gun violence crisis. By taking this crucial step, we can ensure our communities and law enforcement officers in Detroit, and across the state, have the resources they need to combat crime,” said Representative Brenda Lawrence. “I’m especially proud that dollars from the American Rescue Plan, which I voted for back in March, will help fund these lifesaving public safety initiatives. I’ll continue to use my voice as the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee to bring crucial federal resources back to the 14th District and our state.” 

“Detroit and cities across the state are working every day to address violent crime and we appreciate the Governor’s leadership and partnership.  Her plan to provide additional funding  in these critical areas will be a great boost to our efforts to make our communities safer,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. 

“The Public Safety Act Plan allows us to act now to end the surge in violence in our cities. Ensuring our police officers have the resources and training they need to keep our communities safe while securing public trust is one of our top priorities. This plan does just that,” said former Wayne County Sheriff deputy and State Representative Tyrone Carter. 

“Governor Whitmer’s attention to the alarming rise in violent crime we see across the country and in Michigan is so important and matters to combatting this issue that impact all our communities,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “I applaud Governor Whitmer for announcing this strong plan today to reduce crime and increase public safety across the state. With federal dollars Congressional Democrats passed in the American Rescue Plan, we are able to take strong actions to ensure law enforcement agencies are equipped the tools they need, get illegal firearms off the street, and invest in education and jobs, as well as mental health and social services resources. Together, these actions will help law enforcement fight crime and make our communities safer.”