Volunteers in Michigan are building a movement to showcase grassroots appreciation for local police after years of negative press nationwide.
“There is an organic synergy that is taking place in Michigan: it’s like the state was waiting for this to happen,” said Amy Hawkins, Citizen Chair of Police Week Michigan. “We are still in the formation stages but finding eagerness to be part of this effort all over the state.”
Detroit Police Turnaround
The Detroit Police Department was once renowned for corruption and poor public service. Since 2013, Detroit violent crime rate has dropped from first place among US cities to second, and the trend is projected to continue downward. Its rate is still four times that of the rest of Michigan.
Michigan’s morale boost may have begun in 2014. Detroit’s newly-appointed Chief of Police James Craig addressed the city’s slide to anarchy with his famous statement calling on city residents to “arm themselves” to defend their homes.
Hawkins states that Craig will participate in next year’s Michigan Police Week Celebration.
Michigan’s Forfeiture Revision
Public police image gets a boost with a recent change in Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture law. Passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), the revision is effective in August. It limits forfeiture in suspected drug cases to after conviction or when cash and other property exceed $50,000 in value.
National Police Week began with President John F. Kennedy’s proclamation in 1962. It now draws tens of thousands of officers from around the world to Washington, DC annually.
Under President Trump’s rule of law focus, fewer headlines agitate racial division and escalate to reports of police brutality.
“Michigan Citizens Appreciate Police”
A June 28 photo-story shows Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and K9 deputy Duke modelling a specially-made Kevlar vest presented by corporate supporters.
The site promotes Michigan law enforcement’s community events from softball games and ice cream to boat safety, babysitter, and Citizen Response to Active Shooter classes.
“Michigan citizens appreciate the men and women behind the badge,” states Hawkins, “and it’s time that Police and their families see and know it.”
The Michigan nonprofit group self-describes as a “Citizen Project launched in 2019.” Michigan volunteers welcome more to join their cause at Police Week Michigan’s website during the build-up to a major celebration on May 16, 2020.
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Abigail Nobel is a reporter for Battleground State News and The Ohio Star.