Weeks after supporting Senate Bill 945 — legislation that calls for an increase in police training and a decrease of excessive force in Michigan — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today shared a four-part plan to bring more police reform policies to the state. The plan, which focuses on policy, personnel, community engagement and partnerships, and prevention and accountability, comes as protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the state and country.
“All Michiganders, no matter their community or the color of their skin, deserve equal treatment under the law,” Whitmer says in a press release on the plan, which was developed in partnership with Michigan community leaders and law enforcement agencies. “This proposal will help us ensure that law enforcement officials treat all Michiganders with humanity and respect and will help us keep our communities safe. I will continue working with leaders in law enforcement to make public safety more just and equitable in Michigan.”
Under the plan, the Whitmer Administration is supporting a number police reform legislation that bans chokeholds; limits the use of no-knock warrants; requires “duty to intervene,” a policy in which officers must step in if they witness another officer using excessive force; classifies false, racially-motivated 911 calls as hate crimes; requires law enforcement officers to complete in-service training to maintain their licenses; authorizes the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards to audit law enforcement agencies to ensure they are reporting violations and improper use of force incidents as well as establish penalties for agencies that don’t report; and directs the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to recommend best practices for when police officers respond to situations involving people with mental illness.
Additionally, the administration is working with law enforcement leaders to provide incentive programs for law enforcement agencies to hire officers who live where they work. It is also promoting investment in programs that help police and community leaders build relationships.
So far, the plan has garnered support from individuals with the Michigan State Police, Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, and Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association. “Law enforcement derives its authority from the public who entrusts us to protect and serve them,” says Colonel Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police, “and I am fully committed to working with Governor Whitmer and her administration to increase accountability and improve transparency in order to build community support and trust.”