DETROIT (WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced plans to use funds from the American Rescue Plan to improve public safety in the State of Michigan.
Whitmer says the idea is to work together across all levels of state government and law enforcement to "bring crime down" after seeing double-digit increases in violent crime in cities across the state.
She is pledging with "anyone who wants to solve this problem."
Whitmer says the state is making a $75 million investment in three keys areas, using money from the American Rescue Fund. These are better-equiped police officers, getting illegal guns off the street, and a holistic approach to preventing crime. The program is being called the MI Safe Communities framework.
She is proposing using some of the funds to hire more police officers, especially in those that are experiencing rising gun violence. This includes increasing funding for officers to live where they are on duty. This also includes investing more money into Michigan’s police departments to strengthen training policies and programs and foster collaboration between the Michigan State Police and local departments on specialty services.
As part of the effort to get illegal guns off the street, Whitmer says she wants to increase the number of backlogged cases by increasing the number of visiting judges. She says many of those cases are part of the backlog.
The third part of the plan, using a holistic approach to prevent crime, will use community-based initiatives to address crime before occurs by reaching out to young people and hospital-based programs to dissuade retaliation, including expanding opportunity through our education, jobs, and the justice system.
"We need the right solutions," Whitmer says. "Not the easy solutions, not the most visible solutions."