MSP unveils plan to improve transparency, relationship with public
MICHIGAN (WJRT) - The Michigan State Police are taking three specific actions to address transparency, racial equity and improve their relationship with communities.
“We’re not trying to hide anything. State Police has and always has been trying even more so now to be transparent with everything we do," said Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper Steve Kramer.
The three steps they are taking are as follow:
1. Making it easier for the public to access state police policies or look up traffic stop data as it pertains to race.
2. Creating an advisory council made up of 10 members -- all with diverse backgrounds. The members come from various communities across the state. The council will advise MSP on how to improve community engagement.
3. Hiring a third party consultant to examine traffic stops, use of force and arrest data to ensure there’s no bias.
We asked Kramer the question of why these steps are being taken now, and not years prior.
“I think MSP has always tried to be fairly transparent with everything. I think it’s just being made more public now,” he said.
Flint pastor and civil rights activist Chris Martin applauds MSP for the actions they’re taking, but said this is just one step of many more that will need to come.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a white man stand outside of his car while a search goes on inside the car, but we see it among black males all too often,” Martin said.
Martin said systemic racism in law enforcement is certainly a problem, and one that needs to be addressed and not just by talking the talk, but walking the walk.
“Law enforcement has to change the culture of how they’re presented in neighborhoods. I’m all for community policing. I’m all for police being able to do their job, but what I’m not for is police brutality and racism in law enforcement.”
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