Schuitmaker testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee on bill that would modernize, update Michigan State Police titles

State Police officials join Sen. Schuitmaker in support of Senate Bill 328

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday heard testimony on a bill sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker that would update the grades and duties for members of the Michigan State Police (MSP).

Schuitmaker was joined in her testimony by Michigan State Police Colonel Kriste Etue. Sergeant Amy Dehner and an additional 15 female Michigan State Troopers also accompanied Schuitmaker and Etue at the hearing to show their support for the legislation.

“Senate Bill 328 is about making sure we recognize that women are working in the same capacity as men, and the women serving in the Michigan State Police deserve the same respect and dignity as their counterparts,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “I’m proud to say that the Michigan State Police hasn’t used the term ‘policewoman’ in many years, and it is now our turn to do the same in the Legislature by updating our state statutes. This is one act we can do to honor those who serve and protect us.”

Senate Bill 328 would eliminate from state statute the antiquated title “policewoman,” which was used at a time when female members of the MSP were paid less than men.

Schuitmaker said this important change reflects current department policy, which has not used this title and grade for several decades. The rank and titles of inspector and recruit would also be added to keep consistent with department policies.

“This bill is another example of Senator Schuitmaker being a great advocate for law enforcement and the Michigan State Police. Many women in the Michigan State Police look to 1967 when we hired our first two female troopers, and since then many others, including myself, have followed in their footsteps,” added Etue.

SB 328 was unanimously approved by the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now before the full Senate for consideration.

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PHOTO CUTLINE: State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (front right) testified on May 19 before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 328, which would update the grades and duties for members of the Michigan State Police by removing the term “policewoman” from state statute, as well as adding the rank and titles of inspector and recruit to state statute. Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, was joined in testimony by State Police Colonel Kriste Etue (front left).

Editor’s note: the above photograph of Schuitmaker testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorTonyaSchuitmaker.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.