Improving the trust and cooperation between the public and members of law enforcement is the goal of a new executive directive signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.
"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."
Executive Directive 2016-2 tasks the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards to produce a public report addressing the topic of fostering public trust in law enforcement.
MCOLES is responsible for promoting public safety in Michigan by setting standards for selection, employment, licensing, and funding in law enforcement and criminal justice, for the public and private sectors.
As part of the Executive Directive, the Governor has directed MCOLES 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.
MCOLES must complete its study and produce a report within 120 days.
In addition to the Executive Directive, Snyder signed a 17-bill package updating requirements for law enforcement in Michigan and responsibilities related to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
Senate Bills 92-94, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker:
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.
SBs 95-96, sponsored by state Sen. Margaret O'Brien; SBs 866-867, sponsored by Schuitmaker; SBs 868-869, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones; House Bill 5494, sponsored by state Rep. Vanessa Guerra; HB 5495, sponsored by state Rep. Stephanie Chang; HB 5496, sponsored by state Rep. Peter Lucido; HBs 5497-5498, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto; HB 5499, sponsored by Rep. Triston Cole; HB 5500, sponsored by Rep. Jim Tedder; and HB 5501, sponsored by state Rep. Kathy Crawford all update areas of state law to reflect changes made in SBs 92-94.
The bills are now Public Acts 289-305 of 2016.