Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced a plan to increase financial resources for law enforcement, aiming to support and recruit local police officers.
Representatives Timmy Beson (R-Bangor Township) and Annette Glenn (R-Midland), members of the Appropriations committee, backed the use of remaining COVID-19 relief funds to back the measure.
In the plan, the lawmakers would provide an additional $7.5 million to support mental health programs for police and first responders
“We can’t thank our police enough,” said Beson. “They serve and protect us; they put themselves in danger to keep our communities safe. Law enforcement is no easy job, and our brave officers need our help. Our plan will give local police departments tools they need to hire and keep good officers, and to build relationships in the community.”
In total, $250 million would infuse into the system, with $20 million for signing and retention bonuses for officers and $40 million to help pay for police academy training.
Additionally, $10 million would fund school resource officers for districts across the state and $12 million for the Michigan Department of Corrections.
“Public safety is one of the most important responsibilities of our local governments, and we need to ensure that police departments in Bay and Midland counties have the staff and resources they need to protect us,” said Rep. Glenn. “This plan will help our communities by reinforcing our local police. Signing bonuses and training will help bring on new recruits, retention bonuses and mental health services will support current officers, and community policing initiatives will connect the police with their communities and strengthen relationships.”
The move comes as national and local figures look for ways to boost morale among officers, after the “defund the police” movement.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rep. Timothy Benson” by Michigan House Republicans. “Rep. Annette Glenn” by Michigan House Republicans.