Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled an extensive public safety plan this week, which would focus spending on adding state troopers and bolstering various programs targeting crime and poverty in the state’s most populous cities.
His “Smart Justice” plan would focus on Flint, Detroit, Saginaw and Pontiac. It wouldn’t provide funding for additional officers, as some Chiefs were hoping, but will do a variety of other things to keep the cities safe, including:
- Providing Flint with the money to reopen the city jail
- Invest money in existing mental health courts and open a new one in Saginaw
- Forbid people who owe taxes from buying additional property at auction
- Allow the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Board of Pharmacy to temporarily ban “designer drugs”
- Begin development of a system that would allow citizens to send photos, videos, and text messages to dispatch from the scene of accidents and fires
- And more…
The Governor would also like to see 180 new state troopers and 20 new forensic scientists. He plans for the first new group of troopers to begin school early this coming summer and he hopes the new forensic scientists will cut down case turnaround to a 30 day time period.
Snyder seems very focused on juvenile crime prevention as well, beginning to focus on truancy as early as kindergarten and adopting a “data-driven approach to rehabilitating juvenile offenders,” according to the Detroit News.
He is also setting aside $5 million for summer jobs in high crime areas, jobs specifically for teenagers. The hope is that with jobs, teens won’t be so likely to turn to crime in the hot summer months.
Flint would also like to see the Governor focus on what he refers to as “party stores” or stores where you can purchase everything from liquor to crack pipes. A Flint City Councilwoman broke down while telling the governor about a murder that occurred in one such store. After hearing this, Snyder vowed to have the Liquor Control Commission look into Flint’s “party store” problems.
The price sticker on all of these changes is quite large, but it seems like lawmakers are most willing to spend on public safety issues or fear loss of popularity among their constituents.
If you are accused of a criminal offense in the state of Michigan, contact our offices today to discuss how we might be able to help.