Whitmer signs bipartisan bill to boost police patrols on Michigan roads, improve officer retention

Whitmer signed three bipartisan bills increasing funding for the Secondary Road Patrol (SRP) program. (WDIV)

LANSING – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bipartisan bills aimed at boosting police patrols on roads, and to increase officer retention efforts at local sheriff departments.

Whitmer signed three bipartisan bills (House Bills (HB) 5569, 5732, and 5772) increasing funding for the Secondary Road Patrol (SRP) program, which will be used to add officers to the road. The consistent funding source will allow sheriff departments to plan better and give officers more employment stability, improving their recruitment and retention efforts, the state said. These bills will increase the SRP fund by $5 million each year, up from $10 million to $15 million.

SRP funds efforts to monitor traffic violations, enforce the state’s criminal law, investigate accidents involving motor vehicles, and provide emergency assistance to Michiganders on or near a patrolled highway or road. The funds can be used for employing additional personnel, purchasing equipment, enforcing laws in state and county parks, and providing selective motor vehicle inspection programs.

“I am thankful that both Governor Whitmer and the Legislature came together with a commonsense solution to the Sheriffs’ secondary road patrol concerns,” said Matt Saxton, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. “These bills provide for stability in funding that will put additional deputies on our road to provide improved public safety response throughout the state of Michigan.”

Last year, Whitmer proposed a plan to invest $75 million in federal funds to reduce crime, with a focus on illegal guns and court backlogs.

“As a former prosecutor, public safety is a top priority for me,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s bipartisan bills will improve road safety by putting more officers out on patrol. The 50% increase in funding for the SRP program will also improve law enforcement recruitment and retention by bolstering the funding stream and enabling sheriff departments to give their officers more stability. I will work with anyone to protect public safety, and I am proud of the bipartisan budget I signed earlier this year that ensures law enforcement at every level, from the MSP to local departments, have the resources they need to keep people safe. No one should feel unsafe as they go to work, drop their kids off at school, or run errands in their neighborhoods. Let’s work together to protect public safety and keep drivers safe on the road.”

Related: Whitmer signs bill to add financial literacy course to Michigan high school curriculum

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.