Tudor Dixon Unveils Building a Safer State Strategy with Sheriff LaJoye-Young, Local Law Enforcement, & State Legislators

September 13, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Tudor Dixon unveiled her $1 Billion Building a Safer State strategy today to end Whitmer’s Violent Crime Wave and increase law enforcement recruitment and retainment. She was joined by Shane Hernandez, Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young, state legislators, local police officers, and concerned members of the community.

“Violent crime is skyrocketing in Michigan at nearly twice the national rate under Gretchen Whitmer’s failed leadership and the people of Michigan are suffering as a result,” said Tudor Dixon. “Michigan families deserve to feel safe in their communities and law enforcement needs to know we always have their back. Building a Safer State is my plan to do just that and make public safety the priority our families deserve.”

Dixon’s strategy would invest $1 billion new dollars over the next four years to recruit and retain over 5,000 new local officers, over 5,000 new fire/EMS personnel, 500 state troopers, and 2,000 state and local corrections officers.    

“The Dixon–Hernandez administration will always put the safety and security of Michigan communities, families, and small businesses first,” said Shane Hernandez. “Gretchen Whitmer failed to do her most basic job and embraced the radical anti-police politics that allowed criminals to roam free and caused Michigan’s violent crime rate to go from 14th to 9th in a matter of two years. We will never put a political agenda ahead of safety and will always be committed to policies that improve the lives of Michigan families.”

(A)    Recruit and Retain - $700 Million
Tudor Dixon’s plan will recruit and retain the public safety personnel needed to keep Michigan families and communities safe from violent offenders.
1.    Instruction Supports – Make it easier for those wanting to serve to afford the cost of instruction, including tuition, and provide a stipend to cover personal expenses during training plus retention and signing bonuses.
2.    Youth Engagement – Provide work-study programs to help potential police and fire recruits job shadow experienced officers, giving them an authentic feel for the job before they enter an academy, and expand explorer programs geared towards high school students to build interest in the professions.  
3.    ‘Move to Michigan’ Incentives – Offer incentives for public safety professionals to move to Michigan. Make it easy to relocate to Michigan by ensuring retirement benefits are preserved and providing additional perks like free hunting and fishing licenses, recreation passports, and more.
4.    Recruitment Marketing – Grants will be made available to help police, fire, and other public safety programs market the profession and attract a larger pool of applicants.

(B)    Equip and Train - $250 Million
Tudor Dixon’s plan provides public safety personnel with the tools they need to do their jobs and keep people safe, including the equipment they need, mental health support, and additional training to better engage the communities they serve.
1.    Equipment – Offer resources to help buy body-worn cameras, riot gear, narcotics task force equipment, first responder bags, second sets of fire gear, CO monitors, automatic chest compression devices, and whatever else may be needed to serve the public.
2.    Training – Provide additional training, including in de-escalation techniques.
3.    Mental Health Support – Provide resources local first responders need and deserve – supporting police, corrections officers, firefighters, and other first responders battling post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health challenges.

(C)    Find and Detain - $50 Million
Tudor Dixon’s plan helps eliminate backlogs and bring justice to victims of violent crime by providing additional resources to locate and lock up the violent offenders and rapists that threaten our communities.
1.    Backlog Elimination – Provide for new lab facilities to process forensic evidence quicker, including funding for rape kit processing and gun case backlogs in our court system.
2.    Tracking Down Offenders – Fund reimbursements for tracking down offenders who have run away or to extradite from other jurisdictions to face justice.

(D)    Public Safety Working Group
Tudor Dixon will invite several distinguished leaders in our state to assist me and work with the legislative leaders and the appropriate legislative committees to expedite the final design and legislative passage of our agenda. It is time we put public safety back on the agenda and give it the priority our families deserve.

1. The violent crime rate rose in Michigan in 2020 (the latest year for which FBI data is available) at nearly twice the national rate.
2. In 2018, Michigan ranked 14th in the nation for violent crime. After just two years of Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan rose to the 9th highest violent crime rate.
3. Amid the Summer 2020 riots and violence across the country, Gretchen Whitmer stated that she supports the “spirit” of the “Defund the Police” movement. She vetoed $13 Million in funding for local sheriffs, eliminating funding for 119 road patrol officers.  
4. The Michigan Constitution begins with Article I, Section 1. Clearly making “protecting our citizens” the top responsibility and purpose of government: “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security, and protection.”

Whitmer’s Violent Crime Wave – By the Numbers

Violent Crime Rate In Michigan Cities: (“2020 Crime In Michigan Annual Report,” Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, 9/2021; “2021 Crime In Michigan Annual Report,” Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, 9/2022)

Grand Rapids, MI USA

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