PONTIAC, Mich. -Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, flanked by the sheriff from Macomb County and representatives from Wayne County, unveiled a 12-point plan for police reforms on Tuesday.
The recommendations seek to enhance training, boost accountability and root out bad apples before they are hired. Bouchard doesn’t believe policing is broken but does need an upgrade. He released what he calls “Policing 2.0.”
It’s an ice-breaker for law enforcement and legislative leaders because right now Bouchard and others feel law enforcement is not being consulted when reforms are proposed in Lansing or Washington.
“Almost every day we’re seeing legislation being introduced by the far right or the far left without really a connection to the reality of law enforcement,” said Bouchard. “The far right seems to think we’re part of the NSA and the far left wants to disarm us.”
Step one: Assessing the depth of the problem. Bouchard wants state-mandated reporting of all officer-related shooting and in-custody deaths.
Step two: Reporting requirements when use of force is involved.
The plan also calls for the legislature to set training and hiring standards and $50 million to fund a police training center. Bouchard also wants to give departments greater access to background information for police applicants including polygraph exams and Internet accounts.
He wants to make sure bad apples can’t return.
“If we terminate somebody because they used extreme excessive force on someone, to have an arbitrator tell us we have to put them back on the job ultimately will end up on a video somewhere, on ‘America’s worst moments.’ That doesn’t make sense to us. We’ve had it happen to us and we think it needs to be changed in the law,” said Bouchard.
The Sheriff says accountability is a two-way street and citizens need to accept responsibility.