Law enforcement recruitment grants become available
Millions of dollars in state grants are now available to help local law enforcement agencies cover the cost of training recruits.
The new program provides money for both academy costs and salaries for recruits while they’re still in training.
Tim Bourgeois is the executive director of the “Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.”
He says the salary boost also helps diversify candidate pools. That's because training can be costly and time consuming, so only some people can afford it.
"It doesn’t afford you the opportunity to work and you’ve still got to eat, support yourself, perhaps support a family, have transportation and all those things. So, the ability to do that starts to skew middle class and the higher up that rung you go, the more likely it is it’s going to be a less diverse population there." said Bourgeois.
The new program provides agencies with money to cover up to 25 recruits.
Matt Saxton is executive director of the “Michigan Sheriff's Association.”
He says law enforcement agencies across the state are dealing with significant staffing shortages.
"The state’s assistance to assist us with paying for training academies is a great benefit to the sheriff’s offices and the local PDs. However, if we can’t find the good men and women that want to join the profession, the money will just sit there." said Saxton.
Saxton says he feels conversations surrounding law enforcement need to be more positive to make the job more appealing to prospective recruits.