State Rep. John Damoose today joined the Michigan House of Representatives in approving a spending plan to support recruitment and retention, community outreach and equipment upgrades for local police departments.
“The law enforcement profession, by its very nature, takes a profound toll on the officers who serve and protect the people of Michigan,” said Damoose, of Harbor Springs. “That toll is compounded by the demoralizing pressure from political attacks that have been directed their way. Too many officers are leaving the job. They need to know we have their backs. This plan stands up for our police and sends vital support their way.”
The $368.5 million appropriations plan for public safety and emergency response is contained in House Bill 5522. Pillars of the plan include:
Recruitment and retention: The initiative includes $57.5 million for a “Move to Michigan” recruitment plan to help local departments hire officers now working in other states. The plan ensures officers moving to Michigan would keep retirement benefits they’ve already earned in other states. Tuition assistance and grants to help offset expenses would make attending a police academy a more practical, affordable option for local law enforcement and corrections officer candidates. Local departments could receive grants to offer job shadowing and signing bonuses to new hires. Local law enforcement, fire departments, EMS agencies and corrections departments would get support for recruitment marketing.
Public safety personnel who miss work because of COVID-19 quarantine could be reimbursed for lost wages and leave time. An additional $7.5 million would support mental health assistance for local law enforcement, firefighters, EMS personnel and other public safety officers.
Strengthening bonds in neighborhoods and schools: The legislation proposes $50 million for school resource officers, who work proactively with students and families. Another $10 million in grants would be provided for community policing initiatives shown to improve relationships between officers and people in the neighborhoods they serve. The mix of community policing and mentorship that make the Police Athletic League in Detroit so successful would be expanded to other communities with a $15 million investment.
Supplying essential equipment: More resources would be available for body-worn cameras and gear, narcotics team gear, communications equipment upgrades, and other essentials.
The plan also includes support for local police K-9 units.
HB 5522 earned overwhelmingly bipartisan support now advances to the Senate for consideration.
State Rep. John Damoose on Wednesday joined community leaders and officials from Delta Air Lines and SkyWest to discuss the importance of accessible, reliable air transportation to Northern Michigan and the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
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