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Attorney General Nessel proposes 7 police reforms

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Posted at 10:24 AM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 10:24:55-04

LANSING, Mich.  — Calls for police reform are widespread in the nation, and one response has come from Michigan’s attorney general.

Attorney General Dana Nessel released a list of seven proposals “to increase transparency surrounding law enforcement agencies and ensure accountability from and for law enforcement officers,” said a release from her office.

“This is just the first step toward implementing positive change in our criminal justice system,” Nessel said in the release.

One major issue Nessel identified was the requirement that law enforcement officers be licensed in the state, but that the licensing agency lack enforcement powers to revoke the licenses.

Here are the proposals, quoting from Nessel’s release:

  • Authorizing MCOLES to suspend or revoke a license when an officer: (a) engages in conduct that adversely affects the ability and fitness of the police officer to perform his or her job duties; or (b) engages in conduct that is detrimental to the reputation, integrity or discipline of the police department where the police officer is employed.
  • Mandating that law enforcement agencies maintain all disciplinary records of a police officer in his or her personnel file.
  • Requiring MCOLES to create a statewide misconduct registry of verified claims that is accessible by the public.
  • Amending the Public Employee Benefits Forfeiture Act (MCL 38.2701, et al.) so that officers forfeit their retirement benefits upon conviction of a felony related to misconduct while on duty.
  • Mandating law enforcement agencies report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion and age.
  • Creating an independent investigative and prosecutorial process for deaths that involve the actions of law enforcement officers.
  • Requiring continuing education for law enforcement officers as a license requirement; improving and standardizing police policies and trainings (including de-escalation, cultural competence and implicit bias trainings).