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Michigan Law Enforcement And School Officials Announce School Safety Proposal

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Law enforcement and school officials say they have a plan to save children’s lives.  They unveiled a proposal Thursday that calls for $120 million from the state to make Michigan schools safer.

“There’s been enough talking,” said former president for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan Mark Reene.  “Our kids’ lives are on the line.  It’s time for a change.”

Part of that money is for school resource officers. Those are uniformed police officers assigned to schools.  Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth said school resource officers are the best forms of community policing.

“They’re in the buildings every single day,” he said.  “They get to know the kids, the kids’ parents, the kids’ families, the teachers, and I think the single best example of having a school resource officer is incalculable.”

The focus is intentionally not about guns in school.  Some lawmakers have argued that arming teachers will make schools safer. 

Reene said there’s nothing in the proposal that is controversial.  He calls them, “common sense, bipartisan solutions to a very real crisis.”

Instead, the proposal calls for more mental health professionals in schools, mandatory reporting of threats of violence, and money for safer school buildings.

Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul applauded the proposal saying, “This plan – this is why I think I’m so supportive of this plan – is it really pushes the envelope on the issue around local law enforcement partnering in really substantive, meaningful and life changing ways.”

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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