Governor Snyder Promises to Fight Crime
LANSING -- Gov. Snyder vowed Wednesday night in his State of the State address that he'll bring the state's crime rate down.
"We'll have three key components," the Republican said. "An increase in law enforcement, major improvements in how our criminal justice system operates and a jobs component."
Snyder's office told News 10 Thursday he'll give more specifics in March on each of those components.
In the meantime, the biggest question hanging in the balance -- does Snyder, the man who ushered in an era of small government in 2011, intend to increase funding for law enforcement?
Attorney General Bill Schuette, also a Republican, was pretty clear Wednesday on where he stands on that issue.
"Unless you have a full commitment to public safety, there cannot be a complete economic recovery," Schuette said. "More cops on the street, and secondly, toughened laws to keep the hardened criminals behind bars."
But democrats say they're confused. The governor's administration, after all, cut revenue sharing with local governments last year, effectively forcing them to slash public safety.
"We have issues with crime with some of our central cities in the state," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, noting Michigan has four of America's most violent cities -- Flint, Detroit, Saginaw and Pontiac. "That's a reality. And it has not been made better by these budget cuts from the state."
And how about the folks in law enforcement? They have seen cuts for years. What was their reaction to Snyder's message?
"Michigan State Police has 380 less at-post troopers than it did in 2000," said MSP Insp. Gene Adamczyk. But he said he's encouraged by the governor's commitment to public safety, and is confident he'll follow through.
"Increasing our trooper strength would help," Adamczyk said. "That would be more troopers on patrol, responding to calls for service and preventing crime."