LANSING — The Michigan State Police announced on Wednesday an official change in policy to prohibit certain vehicle pursuits for misdemeanor offenses. In response, state Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) issued the following statement:

“I am heartened to see that the Michigan State Police have adopted this new policy to refrain from vehicle pursuits for traffic violations or misdemeanor offenses. Without this policy in place, families have suffered tragic and often unnecessary losses, and my only wish is that this decision could have been made sooner. Nevertheless, I commend the State Police for making this policy change, and I look forward to working with them in a spirit of mutual engagement and cooperation on my House Bill 4960 to require officers to follow local pursuit policies when patrolling within city boundaries. That way, it would not only be a State Police policy to conduct safer vehicle pursuits, but such a change would also be reflected in Michigan law. While more work still needs to be done, their announcement this week is yet another step toward making all of our communities safer places to live and work.”