Proposal offers support for mental health services, training quality officers
State Rep. Graham Filler and the Michigan House recently announced a plan to support law enforcement and provide resources to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve.
Filler, of DeWitt, said the plan focuses on attracting new talent to the profession, developing the skills of existing police officers, funding important services like road patrols and community policing, and offering mental health support.
“The men and women who dive headfirst into the toughest situations imaginable – the officers who put their own safety on the line to protect our community and our state – have my full support,” Filler said. “We’re making sure our local police departments have the right resources, so they can recruit and retain good officers and offer the training and mental health services they need. This will make sure they are in the best position to serve our communities well.”
More specifically, the plan includes:
- Funding to support police, corrections officers, firefighters, and other first responders battling post-traumatic stress disorders or other mental health challenges.
- State support for recruiting strong candidates into police academies.
- Tuition assistance for people considering the academy.
- A work study program to give people an opportunity to consider a career in law enforcement.
- Funding for community policing initiatives shown to improve relationships between law enforcement officers and people in the neighborhoods they serve.
- Incentives for expanded use of body cameras.
- Resources for departments to provide training in critical areas.
- Signing bonuses and recruitment marketing to help attract new officers.
- State support for rural or “secondary” road patrols.
In total, the comprehensive plan includes important policy changes and $80 million in financial support. In order to begin some of the attraction programs and community policing as soon as possible, the parts of the plan that include a budget component were added to a supplemental budget bill approved by the House on Thursday. Other statutory changes, including future reforms still being developed, will be introduced and discussed in committee in the near future.
More details about the plan are available here.