Grand Rapids police

 Downtown Grand Rapids Michigan at a protest on May 30, 2020

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced 11 law enforcement agencies statewide are receiving $1 million to bolster public safety.

"I applaud the Department of Justice for investing in Michigan’s public safety by awarding our State Police and 11 local agencies across the state over $1 million in grants," Whitmer said in a statement. "Michigan's brave troopers and law enforcement officers are at the forefront of the crucial work needed to reduce crime and keep our communities safe. Thanks to this grant, [Michigan State Police] is able to continue its efforts to strengthen de-escalation training to ensure police and community members alike can make it home safe at the end of each day."

The funding was appropriated after reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed violent crime has increased in many cities nationwide in 2020. 

FBI statistics show Detroit had a rate of 2,248.4 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2020, trailing only Memphis, Tenn., as the highest rate nationwide in cities exceeding 100,000 residents, the Detroit News reported.

"At the core of de-escalation is communication. Our troopers and the communities we serve benefit when we improve how we approach and treat each other,” MSP Director Col. Joe Gasper said in a statement. “We’re grateful for the grant that will allow us to build upon the training we currently provide to our recruits and move it into the field by implementing a consistent program for all of our nearly 2,100 enforcement members.”

De-escalation training helps ease tensions during police-civilian encounters, ensuring both law enforcement and community members can communicate effectively, securing the safety of everyone involved. Training on de-escalation helps officers maintain security in situations, prevent crime and advance community policing.

“The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police is grateful for the efforts of our Governor to restore and provide training funds to our officers so they can better protect their communities,” Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Chief Robert Stevenson said in a statement.

The communities receiving public safety grants are listed below, as well as the purpose and amount of each grant.

  • City of Big Rapids. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $75,000
  • Charter Township of Brownstown. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $74,335.
  • City of Detroit. Crisis Intervention Team. $241,768
  • Village of Dundee. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $61,120.
  • City of Houghton. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $37,903.
  • City of Ironwood. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $21,300.
  • Charter Township of Kalamazoo. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $74,999.
  • City of Marysville. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $75,000.
  • Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians. Supporting Law Enforcement Agencies in Seeking Accreditation. $51,205.
  • Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Enhancing existing law enforcement accreditation entities. $99,760.
  • Michigan Department of State Police. De-escalation Law Enforcement Agency Grants. $182,328.
  • Oakland County. Microgrants/ Community Trust and Legitimacy. $30,420.

Here’s the letter Whitmer sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in support of the Michigan State Police De-Escalation Training grant.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.