Stop Privatization of Police Forces in Michigan!

  • by: Freya H
  • recipient: Michigan State Government, Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan
Michigan would authorize a new class of private and potentially for-profit police agencies with full arrest powers under legislation proposed and pushed by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof.

The West Olive Republican took testimony on his two-bill package Tuesday in the Senate Government Operations Committee, where he and other supporters argued private forces could supplement public law enforcement agencies and free them to focus on high-impact crime.

The legislation would allow corporations, associations, school districts and other entities to contract with private police agencies to provide services for a specific time and in a specific geographic area.

But the legislation was panned by current law enforcement officials, who said they were concerned by proposed transparency and training requirements. A private officer would not have to undergo a background check if he or she were licensed by the state as a law enforcement officer within the previous two years, they noted.

"At some level, it feels like we’re creating a Blackwater for police in the state of Michigan," said Howell Police Chief George Basar, a past president for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. "It almost feels like we’re putting together a mercenary force to police in some of our communities."

This legislation has to be stopped. Private police forces, though they would have full arrest authority, would also be immune from the Freedom Of Information Act. Sane people understand that putting a profit motive behind policing, making police forces even LESS transparent, and giving them government immunity will lead to outrageous abuses. And if a private cop violates your civil rights or beats you or even kills you, who will you or your loved ones complain to? The corporation that profits from that cop's work? Privatization of police and lack of accountability will result in oppression and brutality.

Sign this petition to stop the privitization of police forces in Michigan.
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