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Bipartisan support for more state funding for policing in Michigan

July 5, 2022

The 2023 State Budget is receiving bipartisan support, with several issues being highlighted by Gov. Whitmer and other State Legislators.

One are in particular that will receive millions more in public money is the Michigan State Police Department.

In a statement released by State Senator Mark Huizenga, he highlighted funding for police and corrections, stating:

“…..and funding to train and hire 170 state police troopers and train 800 corrections officers.”

State Representative David LaGrand, also had positive words for the 2023 State Budget funding for policing in Michigan:

“I am very glad to support the budget we passed today. I’m especially proud to see that several of my priorities are part of the final budget, including funding for public safety. We’ve included grants for community policing….”

The 2023 Michigan Budget includes the following for policing. After each funding allocation, GRIID provides some commentary.

  • $9.2 million to support a Trooper Recruit School (general fund) anticipated to graduate 50 new troopers in addition to the 120 troopers that are anticipated to be hired and trained using existing attrition savings. This investment allows the department to increase enlisted strength to nearly 2,200 while continuing to increase the diversity of uniformed personnel. GRIID Comments: More funding to recruit more cops does not translate into safer communities. Over and over again, the public is mislead into believing this major fallacy of more police, safer communities. See the report, Cops Don’t Stop Violence.
  • $3.7 million to improve Data Collection during Traffic Stops (general fund) through the development of new tracking and documentation systems including a benchmarking dashboard and increasing data collected during traffic stops to allow for easier review and analysis of traffic stops made by the State Police. These improvements will build upon the recommendations of the recent Michigan State University Traffic Stop Study. GRIID Comments: Last year, the Michigan State Police had conducted a traffic stop study, which concluded there was racial disparity by their department. Despite this, the public will provide more money to tell us what we already know about policing, traffic stops and racial profiling. 
  • $3 million to expand Training and Professional Development (general fund) to provide training on cultural competency, implicit bias, and decision-making to expand positive interactions between department members, minority groups, and the diverse communities that the department serves. GRIID Comments: There are numerous studies demonstrating that racial sensitivity and cultural competency training for police departments are ineffective. As Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing states, “Diversity and multicultural training is not a new idea, nor is it terribly effective. Most officers have already been through some form of diversity training and tend to describe it as politically motived, feel-good programming divorced from the realities of street policing. Researchers have found no impact on problems like racial disparities in traffic stops or marijuana arrests; both implicit and explicit bias remain, even after targeted and intensive training. This is not necessarily because officers remain committed to their racial biases, though this can be true, 19 but because institutional pressures remain intact.”
  • $1.8 million to establish a Victim Services Program (general fund) that will support 14 full-time Victim Advocates across the state. These positions will serve to support victims’ needs early in their interactions with the criminal justice system while also building partnerships with community organizations in support of victim advocacy. GRIID Comments: There should be funding for victims of crime, but it should not go to the Michigan State Police. Funding for crime victims should go through the Department of Social Services. 
  • $1.1 million to increase the department’s capacity to Prevent, Detect, and Investigate Cybercrimes (general fund). This investment will support statewide investigatory assistance and digital forensic examinations to further the department’s position as a leader in areas of cyber security, computer crimes, and digital evidence. GRIID Comments: Cyber crimes prevention, detection and investigation should also not be done by the Michigan State Police. Such categories are nothing more than justifications for police departments to receive more funding.
  • $1 million for Trooper Recruitment (general fund) to broaden the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of the department to make it more representative of the communities it serves. This investment will support digital marketing campaigns, recruiting events, and improved public relations to assist the department in achieving its recruiting goals for enlisted positions. GRIID Comments: Recruiting and hiring more cops based on gender, race and ethnicity will NOT address the deep seated lack of trust between the police and the public. Do you think it matters that having a Black cop arrest you, beat you or shoot you is any better than a white cop doing the same?

This comes to about $20 million, which is on top of the massive amount of money the Michigan State Police receives as part of their standard operating budget each year. Have we learned nothing in the past few years? More and more of the public are demanding defending of police departments and the re-allocation of those funds to go towards community needs such as housing, health care, food security and education. The 2023 Michigan Budget demonstrates once again that more money for cops is a bipartisan project. 

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