Lucido: Judiciary committee, Senate approve law enforcement training improvements

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation that would strengthen the training all law enforcement officers receive to help improve community relations and protect residents from excessive force was approved by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Thursday morning and later passed by the Senate.

“Continued instances of police brutality in America prove that more should be done to train and prepare law enforcement agencies on how to peaceably de-escalate situations and improve community relations, especially in communities of color,” said Sen. Peter J. Lucido, R-Shelby Township, who chairs the committee. “Law enforcement is held to a higher standard, and the training improvements included in this bill will help agencies to better meet those expectations. We must do better and work harder to create environments of mutual respect and understanding.”

Senate Bill 945 would require that all law enforcement officers complete training on implicit bias, procedural justice, and de-escalation techniques and receive education on mental health resources. It also would require ongoing annual continuing education for officers.

Law enforcement agencies would be required to adopt a policy stating the officers employed have an affirmative duty to use de-escalation techniques whenever possible. The policy would need to be adopted by Jan. 1, 2022. The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) would be tasked with creating a model policy for agencies to adopt.

SB 945 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.