LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan lawmakers unanimously passed senate bill 945 designed to improve police training.
The bill would improve police training by requiring continuing education for all officers.
East Lansing Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez said, “Things like that, that a lot of agencies are currently doing including ours, but there’s always room for improvement and room to expand on those efforts.”
The bill would also require implicit bias training, violence de-escalation techniques, and mental health screening.
“Our goal here is to do, is not only to expand on some of our use of force training and integrating that training with de-escalating training but also expand that into how does the implicit biases that we as individuals just carry with us,” said Gonzalez said. “How do those implicit biases impact our decisions that we make in the course of our job.”
Attorney General Dana Nessel said this is a step in the right direction. She said, “This will not undo years of overly aggressive police actions, but it does serve as an acknowledgement of the problems with how we police and the steps we must take to drive change.”
Gonzalez said the department will be going through training this summer, but all of these efforts take time and funding.
“I’m really hopeful that what we see in the future here though these changes are going to be lasting positive impacts for our career field,” Gonzalez said.