Snyder signs bills to renew focus on law enforcement, community relationships

Posted at 3:05 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 15:06:11-04

With reports nation-wide showing tensions and a strain on the relationship betwen law enforcement and the communities they serve, Gov. Rick Snyder signed an executive directive and a 17 bill package that focuses on this topic.

“We can all do our part to ensure that those risking their lives in law enforcement and the public they are serving can return home safely every night,” Snyder said. “Given recent national events that have strained relationships, it is more important than ever to focus on the people’s trust of public safety officers in our state and their cooperation with law enforcement. We must take steps to build and promote faith in law enforcement in Michigan.”

The Executive Directive tasks the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards to produce a public report addressing the topic of fostering public trust in law enforcement.

The commission is responsible for proposing public safety in Michigan by setting standards for selection, employment, licensing and funding in law enforcement and criminal justice for both the public and private sectors.

As part of the directive, Snyder has directed the commission to:

  • Consider the status of community relationships and what factors can impact the public’s trust;
  • Consider law enforcement training requirements that can help improve community relationships, including implicit bias training, training on de-escalation techniques, and training on police interactions with those who have mental health issues;
  • Address how law enforcement agencies can improve communications with the public; and
  • Recommend additional improvements that can be considered by the state Legislature.

In addition to the Executive Directive, Snyder also signed a 17 bill package updating requirements for law enforcement in Michigan, and responsibilities related to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

Senate Bill 92-94 includes:

  • Clarify that law enforcement officers require licenses instead of certificates,
  • Add a representative of the deputy sheriffs to MCOLES,
  • Modernizes specifications related to the Michigan Justice Training Fund, and
  • Provides MCOLES access to controlled substance records in appropriate circumstances.