GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon is forecasting a new $1 billion plan for creating a “safer state."
Standing in front of the Grand Rapids Police Department, Dixon explained the details of her public safety plan at a press conference held in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.
At the press conference, Dixon promised to use $1 billion for recruitment and retention of law enforcement officers, hiring in total 5,000 new local officers, 5,000 new fire and EMS personnel, 500 state troopers, and 2,000 local and state corrections officers.
Additionally, Dixon outlined what else she expects to use that funding for:
- $700 million of the plan’s budget would be used on recruiting officers through instruction support, which includes covering tuition and retention, as well as signing bonuses. There would also be work study programs for youths, “Move to Michigan” incentives to recruit officers from outside of the state, and grants for marketing campaigns.
- $250 million of the plan’s budget would go to equip officers with body cameras and riot gear. It would also be used to train officers on de-escalation techniques, as well as providing first responders with mental health support.
- $50 million of the plan would be used to address the backlog of rape kit processing in Michigan, as well as tracking down offenders.
Dixon said that she wants to end what she called Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “violent crime wave.”
However, information from the Brennan Center for Justice has shown that attempts to politicize crime isn’t backed by numbers and is a basic inaccuracy. The information also shows that crime has risen equally in red and blue cities and states, if not more in red states.
Dixon claimed that while she would be funding police officers, Governor Whitmer has done the opposite. When asked about policies created by Whitmer that defunded the police, Dixon referenced the cutting of 119 road patrol office- a move that never actually happened, due to backlash from state republican legislatures.
Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young, who joined Dixon at the press conference, approved of the plan.
“We think it’s so important that you have the backing of the chief executive officer of the state that’s coming out and saying the police are our priority,” said LaJoye-Young. “As you saw, that’s in our constitution. We have agreed to this. The governor should be the first one there saying we have their backs. That’s the discussion we’ve had with police across the state. Saying, just that perception that the top officials in our state don’t have our back is making it difficult to do our jobs.”