Photo coutesy of Michigan Association of Police Organizations
  MAPO Members, including MAP Executive Director Fred Timpner (seccond from left), recently went to Lansing to present a $1,000 donation to the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. at the future site of the memorial. For more information on the memorial or to make a donation to help with construction costs, clickhere, or visit www.mleom.org

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

MAPO representatives recently participated in a meeting with the leadership of the West Michigan Policy Forum to discuss ways to tackle unfunded liabilities in communities without breaking the bank when it comes to the state’s budget. This meeting was connected with Gov. Rick Snyder’s Responsible Retirement Reform Task Force.

Attending on behalf of MAP members was Rich Heins, MAP President, to hear concerns of task force members which include state and local officials, private sector business leaders and employee representatives. Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) President Mike Sauger is a member of Governor Snyder’s task force. MAPO represents MAP and several other Michigan public safety unions.

“We’re going to have all the information first hand because he’s on that task force,” Heins said of Sauger.

The Feb. 15, 2017 meeting in Grand Rapids at Western Michigan University highlighted concerns leaders have with municipalities, such as Detroit and Flint, both previously placed under the leadership of state Emergency Managers to fix their budgets in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Going forward Snyder and other leaders are trying to avoid situations like these where communities cannot afford to fully fund pension plans and retiree healthcare.

“Now the governor has taken this on as one of his causes,” Heins said. “He’s trying to figure out a way to fix it without it being entirely on the state.”

Union leaders want to ensure their members aren’t stuck paying the bill either now or in their retirement. “In the lame duck session this past year, there was an effort to pass legislation that would harm retirees and the prospect for retiree health care for active employees” Heins said.

Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Executive Director David L. Harvey recently highlighted new licensing standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers. Prior to the changes to PA 289 in December 2016, Law Enforcement Officers were certified. Now they are licensed and must adhere to the following standards to remain licensed:

• License is revoked if the licensee obtained it by making misrepresentation or fraud.

• License is revoked if the licensee obtained it because another person made a misrepresentation or fraud. (Note: If an agency falsely attests that a candidate has complied with the licensing standards, the officer’s license will be revoked.)

• License is revoked if the licensee is adjudicated as guilty of any offense in any jurisdiction punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment.

• License is revoked if the licensee is adjudicated as guilty of any of the following Michigan misdemeanors, or their equivalents in any jurisdiction:

1. Second offense of domestic violence.
2. First offense of assaulting an individual without a weapon and inflicting serious injury, without intent to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm.
3. First offense of domestic violence without a weapon and inflicting serious injury, without intent to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm.
4. Stalking.
5. Unauthorized possession of hallucinogens or Schedule 5 drugs.
6. Unauthorized use of Schedule 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 drugs, ecstasy, cocaine, or hallucinogens.
7. Second OWI or OWPD within seven years.

(While felony convictions at any time would result in license revocation, there is no retroactivity of this law for officers convicted of misdemeanors.)

• An order of probation for a first-time domestic violence offense is now an adjudication of guilt that may result in revocation for a qualifying offense.

The Michigan Justice Training Fund (MJTF) Competitive Grant Program is open to all components of the criminal justice system including Michigan courts, corrections, public defenders, prosecutors and law enforcement (both licensed officers and civilian staff). The process to apply for these funds is detailed here. For more information about Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) programs and services, click here.

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