Plan increases funding for school resource officers following Oxford shooting
State Rep. Mark Tisdel and the Michigan House of Representatives today approved a plan to provide additional resources to support local law enforcement, as well as first responders.
House Bill 5522 proposes $368.5 million to support officer recruitment and retention, community outreach and equipment upgrades for police departments. The plan also includes support for firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.
“Police departments are indispensable to communities in Michigan,” said Tisdel, of Rochester Hills. “Our plan provides support for active officers, incentives and promotions for candidate recruitment, and necessary resources for law enforcement responsibilities. It also supports relationship-building within the community.”
Included in the plan is a $50 million appropriation for school resource officers. The student safety funding was expanded following the tragic shooting at Oxford High School.
Pillars of the House 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: School resource officers work proactively with students and families to keep schools safe, and the $50 million allocation will support their security efforts. 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 now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.
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