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Michigan mandates more training for in-service police officers

MSU police car

Michigan is imposing more training requirements for in-service police officers.

Previously, there were no statewide policies mandating routine trainings beyond annual firearms handling.

Public Act 1, the first state law of the 2023, allotted Michigan law enforcement a one-time grant of $20 million. The funding is for development and implementation of increased training for police officers.

"Citizens certainly need to have confidence that law enforcement is enforcing the laws in a fair and equitable way and in an appropriate way," said Tim Bourgeois, the executive director of Michigan’s Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. "So, more training is always better, and more good training is always better."

Bourgeois said the legislative measure was necessary to keep up with evolving societal expectations, new technology and updated laws.

"How we train people is critical. It's not just enough that they have the knowledge," Bourgeois said. "It's that they're able to apply it and often, apply it in very, highly stressful situations."

The Commission on Law Enforcement Standards said it will consult other law enforcement agencies and peer-reviewed literature to develop an effective training curriculum.

Bourgeois said he expects topics to include effective communication, de-escalation, use-of-force and mental and behavioral health.

The law requires the finalized training standards to be presented to the Senate by September 1.

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