As a father, I take my responsibility to heart. That is why I was especially honored to be named Legislator of the Year by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP).
Berrien Springs chief of police Milt Agay presented me with the honor in recognition of my cooperative work with law enforcement agencies and my leadership on key public safety issues, including enactment of the Swift and Sure program and increased supervision of parolees.
I sponsored Senate Bill 1315 to give police officers the authority, already given to parole officers, to search any of the more than 18,000 parolees in Michigan at any time and without first needing to get a warrant. The new law enables our police to help provide more supervision of parolees and enhanced protection of our communities while also reducing the costs of the state prison system.
I also brought to Michigan a successful program that helped significantly reduce crime and drug use by probationers in Hawaii, saving the state millions of dollars.
Michigan’s Swift and Sure program supervises high-risk probationers and requires frequent, random drug and alcohol testing. The results are better outcomes for both the offender and the taxpayer. After seeing the positive results of the program in places like Berrien County, I worked to make the pilot program permanent.
While it is an honor to be recognized by the men and women leading our local police departments, the real reward is a safe neighborhood to raise my children.