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Politics & Government

Snyder to announce crime initiatives in budget plan

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Governor Rick Snyder will present his budget proposal tomorrow, including plans to tackle a deficit. But he will also propose some new spending on public safety.

A lot of the initiatives will focus on preventing and prosecuting sexual assaults. The governor will propose an initiative that targets university campuses, and an additional $3.4 million to make sure rape kits are processed in a timely fashion.

“I think everyone would agree that sexual assault has to be dealt with, and there’s going to be a priority placed on those kinds of crimes,” said Colonel Kristie Etue is the Michigan State Police director.

Some of the money would also go to the attorney general’s office to aid on sexual assaults.

The governor will also ask the Legislature to fund a new class of 75 Michigan State Police troopers. Most of the recruits would be sent to the state’s highest-crime cities -- Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Saginaw.

“Where you clean up the violent crime in a community, and people feel safe again, you’re going to see the economic value come back to those communities, as well,” said Etue. “We had a major decline in troopers starting in 2003, and it lasted almost a decade. So Governor Snyder and the Legislature, they recognized those levels were unacceptable, and we’re just starting to build those levels back.”

The Snyder administration says that would bring the trooper corps to its highest level since 2002. The administration also wants to hire more officers for the Michigan State Police’s Motor Carrier Division, which enforces trucking regulations such as weight limits.