Victory, Chang announce bipartisan police improvement measures

LANSING, Mich. — Sens. Roger Victory and Stephanie Chang, the chair and minority vice chair of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, on Tuesday announced a bipartisan legislative package to improve police accountability and transparency in Michigan.

“As our nation marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, we are coming together here in Michigan to address police accountability and transparency, especially regarding use of force. We continue to mourn the tragic deaths of Floyd and countless others across the country and know that many Americans still feel pain and anger,” said Chang, D-Detroit. “Change in our justice system is overdue, and this bipartisan package is the result of months of work to develop practical solutions to improve policing and public safety in our communities.”

The 12-bill package covers a wide variety of law enforcement issues, such as Use of Force, no-knock warrants, investigations, de-escalation training and recruitment and retention of officers.

“This is an opportunity for us to unite to protect all Michiganders with proactive measures that will put in place the best practices from law enforcement agencies across our state,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Since taking over as Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee chair in January, I have had many positive and constructive discussions on what we need to do, and I want to thank our law enforcement community for their engagement and feedback. I believe we all have the shared goals of improving policing, community interactions and public perceptions while supporting the many courageous police officers who keep our families safe.”

Senate Bill 473, sponsored by Victory, would require the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to develop guidelines for independent investigations of officer-involved deaths and require each agency to develop a publicly available policy that meets those guidelines. SB 481, sponsored by Chang, would require Use of Force policies for all police agencies to include a use of force continuum, verbal warning, and exhaustion of alternatives before using deadly force.

The other bills in the package include:

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