Zorn supports bill to improve law enforcement training

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday voted for legislation to ensure all law enforcement officers receive training to help improve their community relationships and protect all Michigan families from excessive force.

“The shocking and sickening murder of George Floyd is the latest in a long line of tragedies that illustrate that in many areas of our society, we still have a long way to go to achieve our founding principle that all men are created equal,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Racism in all its forms is immoral and has no place in our society. Unfortunately, George Floyd’s death shows that we still have a systemic problem that needs to be solved. It’s not going to be quick or easy. It starts by listening and improving education.

“This measure is a good step forward. It will help ensure that all law enforcement officers in our state have the best training to keep our communities safe and protect the rights of all Michigan residents.”

Senate Bill 945 would require that all law enforcement officers complete training on implicit bias, procedural justice, and de-escalation techniques and receive education on mental health resources. It also would require ongoing annual continuing education for officers.

Law enforcement agencies would be required to adopt a policy stating the officers employed have an affirmative duty to use de-escalation techniques whenever possible. The policy would need to be adopted by Jan. 1, 2022. The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) would be tasked with creating a model policy for agencies to adopt.

SB 945 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.