Gov. Rick Snyder recently gave a Special Message to the Legislature on Public Safety, in which he noted Michigan has four of the top ten most violent cities in the entire nation. A recent study showed that homicides in these four cities cost Michigan taxpayers more than $1.6 billion.
It is a reminder that a violent crime devastates a family and impacts the entire state. Improving public safety will help protect our loved ones, create jobs and free up funds for other priorities like education and roads.
These four cities are not so different from many Southwest Michigan communities that are also experiencing problems with crime.
Although we have come a long way toward energizing our economy, areas with high crime rates are not going to be able to attract new job providers.
Safe communities are vital to economic growth and job creation.
Businesses will not invest in an area if they cannot expect a secure environment; and families will not settle in a place where their children are not safe to learn and play.
I applaud the governor for focusing on the most basic need for growth, which is safety and security in our own communities.
I am especially pleased that he is addressing the problem of drug and alcohol offenders entering the prison system over and over again. Ending the cycle of recidivism will help protect Southwest Michigan families and save taxpayer dollars.
I look forward to continuing to work with the governor to reduce crime, ensure the safety of our communities and help bring new investment and jobs to our state.