LANSING — State Representative John Chirkun (D-Roseville) today fought to use state funding to send Michigan State Troopers into certain Michigan communities for local police departments for their use instead. Chirkun’s amendment to the Michigan State Police budget to allow this was defeated by House Republicans.

“While sending state troopers to Muskegon Heights, Harper Woods, Inkster, Highland Park, Benton Harbor and Hamtramck is well-intentioned, I believe it would be a better use of our taxpayers’ dollars to let the local police departments in these cities use this funding to hire more officers, expand patrol hours, or cover overtime.”

The funding would go to the Secure Cities Partnership Program which sends state troopers into communities to work. Chirkun’s amendment would have instead put the money into the department’s grants and community services program so it could be used by local police departments in these specific cities.

“As a retired Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy with over 29 years of experience, I had the opportunity to patrol several of the communities on this list that would receive these state troopers,” said Chirkun. “While patrolling, I have gotten to know the communities and the neighborhoods well. The officers in the local police agencies have a better understanding of the needs of the community, and know better where to invest the time and public safety resources available with community input.

“I’m sorry that House Republicans didn’t agree that strengthening local police departments and their relationship with the residents they serve was a better use of this funding,” said Chirkun. “I’ll keep working with all my colleagues on strategies to make our communities safe and strong.”