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MI Senate passes bill requiring conflict de-escalation, bias recognition training for police

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Training in conflict de-escalation and recognizing bias would be required of all law enforcement officers in Michigan under a bill adopted Thursday by the state Senate. The bill moved quickly as protests against police brutality continue across the state.

State Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced the bill. It would require all police officers in Michigan to take the training in school, and as a part of continuing education.
“Our communities are calling for change, and I appreciate this step, and I hope that we can take more to provide that kind of justice and freedom denied to so many of our citizens,” Iriwn said.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton supports the legislation. But he told a Senate committee that departments will also need the state to back up the requirements with funding.

“Unlike factories, where you can shut down for six weeks while you re-tool to roll out a new model, as 24/7/365 public safety entities, we do not have that luxury,” Clayton said.

The bill was adopted on a bipartisan 38-to-zero vote. It now goes to the state House. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has expressed her support.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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