Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation aimed at retaining police officers to keep communities safe. Law enforcement agencies may now enter into agreements to collect reimbursement for all or part of the cost of an employee’s academy training, based on the length of service, if the employee voluntarily departs the agency within four years of completing academy training.
“As a former prosecutor, public safety is a top priority for me and I will work with anyone to keep Michigan communities safe,” Whitmer said. “These bills will help police departments provide quality academy training and retain officers so they can build relationships with the communities they serve. Since I took office, we have delivered more than $1 billion to help local governments hire more first responders, and I will continue working with my partners in the legislature to expand opportunity and keep Michigan communities safe.”
Whitmer signed House Bill 4176 and Senate Bill 32, to help retain police officers by allowing, in certain situations, law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements to recuperate 100 percent of academy training costs if they leave the agency within one year, 75 percent if they leave between one and two years, 50 percent if they leave between two and three years, and 25 percent if they leave between three and four years.
“As a 50-year public servant with strong roots in law enforcement, I understand that retaining police officers is crucial to maintaining the stability and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies within our communities,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “High turnover rates disrupt the continuity of operations, while maintaining a stable workforce helps to preserve institutional knowledge and build trust within the communities.”
"For too long, police recruits knew they could receive the best training available at DPD, and then take that training to a suburban department that paid them more,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We've addressed the pay issue, and thanks to the leadership of Gov. Whitmer, Rep. Tyrone Carter and Sen. Sylvia Santana, Chief White will be able to retain the officers he trains and maintain the staffing level he needs to help make neighborhoods safer."
“I want to thank Governor Whitmer and the legislature for their leadership in helping keep Detroit and communities across Michigan safe by working to ensure departments can retain talented, trained officers,” said Detroit Police Chief James E. White. “This legislation will help ensure that community policing continues, with officers who know the neighborhoods staying with their departments to protect and serve with the experience, familiarity and trust that residents deserve.”
The bills allow local communities to keep more of their taxpayer dollars and retain officers that have built relationships with residents. The legislation also allows local governments to hire more officers without cutting services.
“This legislation will ensure we are keeping public safety in Detroit a priority while being fiscally responsible,” said state Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit). “Law enforcement agencies who pay for a recruit’s training will no longer run the risk of losing both what they paid for and the trained officer to another agency. I am proud of the work we put it to pass the legislation and grateful to have the Governor’s support in getting this signed into law.”