(WXYZ) — Michigan State Police launched a new Transparency and Accountability webpage on Friday aimed to provide easy access to information about the administration and operation of the MSP.
Information includes department policies, strategic plan, training requirements, recruiting and staffing numbers and use of force and traffic stop data.
Additionally, Director Col. Joe Gasper said there will be a citizen advisory council that will assist department leadership by providing outside insight into MSP practices affecting the public.
“We know that accountability and transparency are necessary components for building community trust and support, which is the goal of this new webpage and the purpose for creating the Bridges to BLUE Citizen Advisory Council,” stated Gasper. “By sharing information about the operations of the department, both online and with the Bridges to BLUE Citizen Advisory Council, it is my hope that we’ll increase police-community relations through better understanding, develop improved policies and contribute to more informed discussions about police reform.”
Gasper said while he believes MSP members perform their jobs "without regard for race," a continuing increase in the percentage of traffic stops involving Black drivers since 2017 "merits further review" to ensure department policies and practices and not resulting in the disparate treatment of motorists.
MSP also plans to employ the expertise of an independent third-party research institution to perform a comprehensive and in-depth review of its traffic stop data, taking into account all of the associated datasets. Once this advanced research and analysis is completed, the results will be shared publicly.
“The members of the Michigan State Police hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional conduct and we remain committed to performing our jobs with excellence, integrity and courtesy, treating all people with dignity and respect,” Gasper added. “If we find we can improve upon our practices to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all people, you have my commitment that we will make the necessary changes.”