Schuitmaker Blue Alert legislation signed into law

Lansing, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law legislation that will protect the public and law enforcement after an attack on an officer. Public Act 167 of 2015, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, will create the Blue Alert system in Michigan.

A Blue Alert will be issued when a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously wounded in the line of duty and a suspect is on the loose. Like an Amber Alert, a Blue Alert will rapidly disseminate information about the suspect across television, radio and other media.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “We owe it to them to see that their attackers are apprehended quickly and brought to justice.”

“The Michigan Fraternal Order of Police is proud to be supporting Senator Schuitmaker’s legislation establishing Blue Alert, a statewide alert system for officers killed or seriously injured,” said John P. Sadowski, State Lodge president of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police.

“Almost daily we see unprovoked attacks on law enforcement officers across the country,” added David A. Hiller, executive director of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police.

For a Blue Alert to be issued, a law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by a suspect, the suspect must pose a serious risk or threat to the public and other officers, identifying information about the suspect must be available and the law enforcement agency must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the State Operations Center.

In 2014, more than 50 law enforcement officers across the United States were killed by violent criminals. Michigan is the 25th state to enact Blue Alert legislation, and nine others are currently considering bills.

“It’s important that we keep the public informed,” said Schuitmaker. “The Blue Alert system will ensure the public can be on the lookout for these violent criminals.”

In 2011, Schuitmaker sponsored the legislation that created Silver Alerts, which broadcast information about missing seniors. The Amber Alert and Silver Alert notification systems have been very successful in helping to locate missing individuals.

Public Act 167 will take effect Feb. 1, 2016.


Schuitmaker receives ‘2015 Legislative Champion’ award

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker on Tuesday received the “2015 Legislative Champion” award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for her work in crafting legislation that would regulate the installation of breath alcohol interlock ignition devices (BAIID) and implement new safety standards.

A BAIID is a type of breathalyzer that a court can order to be installed on a vehicle’s ignition panel when an individual is convicted of an alcohol related traffic violation.

Before the vehicle can be started, the driver must exhale into the device and if the blood alcohol content is above the minimum threshold, it will kill the ignition signal. Drivers are also required to intermittently be tested throughout their drive.

“Currently, the program lacks integrity and that compromises public safety,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “I will continue working to ensure that drivers with interlock devices are obeying the law and our families are safe on the road.”

Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photo is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: Click “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.


Sen. Schuitmaker announces December office hours

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

Schuitmaker’s staff will be available to meet with constituents at the following dates, times and locations:


Wednesday, Dec. 9

  • 9 – 10 a.m.

Fillmore Township Hall

4219 52nd St.


  • 11 a.m. – noon

Fennville City Hall

222 South Maple St.


  • 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Mugshots Coffee House

340 Water St.


  • 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Plainwell City Hall

211 North Main St.



Thursday, Dec. 10

  • 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Daily Brews Gourmet Coffee

128 South Main St.


  • 10 – 11 a.m.

Biggby Coffee

6082 Kalamazoo Ave. SE



Tuesday, Dec. 15

  • 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

The Breakfast Place

206 North Main St.


  • 10 – 11 a.m.

Antwerp Township Hall

24821 Front St.


  • Noon – 1 p.m.

Railroad Café

555 Railroad St.


  • 2 – 3 p.m.

Saugatuck-Douglas Library

10 Mixer St.



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

Shields will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns any 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