DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed a $75 million initiative to fight violent crime in Michigan.
She called it a critical issue that must be addressed amid double-digit percentage increases in several Michigan cities.
The money would come from the American Rescue Plan and will be used to hire more police officers and increase the number of visiting judges to clear massive court backlogs. She said the money would also ensure officers were paid and trained well.
Whitmer pointed to rising violent crime rates, nationally and in the state, during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. homicides were up 20% in 2020. In Michigan, violent crimes rose by 12% and homicides by 36%, she said. Violent crimes were up 12% in Detroit, 28% in Lansing, 42% in Sterling Heights and 50% in Grand Rapids.
“This is not unique, but it is a problem. And we are working together to address it,” said Whitmer, adding that it should be approached holistically because there is no “silver bullet.”