Bills improving public safety signed into law

LANSING, Mich. — A package of bills that would improve oversight and uniformity for Michigan’s law enforcement officers was signed into law by Gov. Snyder on Tuesday.

Senate Bills 92-94 will update the statutes governing the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) — the entity responsible for overseeing the licensing and training of more than 19,000 law enforcement officers across Michigan.

“Our law enforcement officers go out every day to perform a difficult and dangerous job,” said state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, the leading sponsor of the bills. “This legislation will ensure that officers are held to the highest standards and are properly trained and qualified to protect the public.”

“Putting a consistent set of guidelines that all full-time and reserve officers must follow in statute is beneficial to both the law enforcement community and to the residents of Michigan,” added Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, sponsor of SBs 95 and 96. “Our law enforcement officers serve and protect, and these guidelines hold our officers to the level of integrity and professionalism our communities expect.”

MCOLES is currently governed by a variety of statutes and executive orders that have been updated in a piecemeal fashion for many years. The bills will codify the current commission and create clarity and consistency.

“Senate  Bills 92, 93, and 94 are the most significant and positive changes to the MCOLES statutes since their inception in 1965,” said MCOLES Executive Director Dave Harvey. “This legislation will increase the professionalism of law enforcement officers across the entire state of Michigan. The commission is very grateful for the senator’s continued support of law enforcement and her diligence and hard work in sponsoring this important legislation.”

The legislation would also allow MCOLES to set minimum standards for reserve officers for the first time.

“This package of bills guarantees that our officers receive the best training available, not just initial training at an academy, but continuous training throughout their careers,” Schuitmaker said. “It improves oversight and accountability, so that when officers do act irresponsibly they can be held accountable.

“This package of bills will simply allow MCOLES to establish minimum standards for reserve officers in Michigan.”

Schuitmaker has been working for a number of years with MCOLES and other interested parties to advance the legislation. All of the bills were signed by Gov. Snyder and will take effect 90 days after they were signed.

###

 

Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorTonyaSchuitmaker.com/photowire.

Photo caption: Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, stands for a photo with representatives from the law enforcement community, fellow legislators and staff after Gov. Rick Snyder signed Senate Bills 92-94 into law.

 

 

 

Sen. Schuitmaker announces October office hours

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, announced that October office hours are scheduled for the 26th Senate District.

Schuitmaker’s district director, Deb Shields, will be available to meet with constituents at the following dates, times and locations:

Monday, Oct. 10

  • 9 – 10 a.m.

Fillmore Township Hall

4219 52nd St.

Holland

  • 10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Mug Shots Coffeehouse

340 Water St.

Allegan

  • 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Gaines Township Hall

8555 Kalamazoo Ave. SE

Caledonia

  • 2 – 3 p.m.

Plainwell City Hall

211 N. Main St.

Plainwell

Tuesday, Oct. 11

  • 9 – 10 a.m.

Antwerp Township Hall

24821 Front St.

Mattawan

  • 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Railroad Café

555 Railroad St.

Bangor

  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Saugatuck-Douglas Library

10 Mixer St.

Douglas

Schuitmaker welcomes area residents to attend mobile district office hours this month hosted by District Director Deb Shields throughout Van Buren and Allegan counties, as well as Kentwood and Gaines Township.

Shields will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns that residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary.

For more information, please contact Deb Shields at (269) 303-5564 or by email at DShields@senate.michigan.gov.

###