3-Point Plan aimed at eliminating excessive force by Police Officers in The State of MI.

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Samuel Johnny started this petition to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and

Community Oversight Panel

Each district in Michigan needs a Community Oversight Panel which would allow citizens to initiate police misconduct complaints. There is an inherent bias when law enforcement investigates complaints filed against their colleagues and fellow officers. The community should play a role in holding officers accountable as well. That includes a public hearing to review complaints of excessive force and a recommendation by the Community Oversight Panel as to whether the defending officers’ actions necessitate termination.

 

Mandatory De-Escalation Training

Michigan needs to put a greater emphasis on training police officers to resolve matters peacefully, as opposed to escalating situations through aggressive measures with citizens. Police undergo training for firearms, grappling techniques, high speed pursuits and many other skills that are essential to their jobs.  But slamming someone into a wall or onto the pavement when unwarranted creates an environment of distrust and anxiety between citizens and law enforcement. Just because a police officer has the ability to act out of aggression, doesn’t mean that they should. Police officers are not in communities to punish people, whether that person is guilty or innocent. That’s a matter for The Judiciary of Michigan.   Officers should complete courses specifically aimed at identifying mental illnesses when engaging with citizens as well as their own biases when policing communities. These courses should be completed in the Police Academy and reinforced through hours of continuing education annually.

 

Community engagement instead of only community policing

A critical component of effective law enforcement is establishing and maintaining public trust. It’s essential that police have relationships with the citizens of the communities that they are policing. If the only instances an officer engages with the community is when they are responding to a call, it’s likely that an officer will develop a negative bias towards the citizens of that community. Officers should be required to complete 40(+) hours of community engagement while they are still in the Academy, prior to ever being placed on patrol. Additionally, officers should have a scheduled 4(+) hours per month towards community engagement, as opposed to solely policing the community. Engagement can be defined as participating at high schools, little league athletics, homeless shelters, churches…etc. But there needs to be a well-defined plan and schedule between the communities and law enforcement to allow for these occurrences.

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At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!