LANSING, Mich., March 16, 2023 — State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) recently introduced House Bill 4176, which would implement an exception allowing law enforcement agencies to enter into tuition contracts with recruits. In return for tuition-free training, the recruit would provide time of service back to the community that funded the training, or be required to repay training costs. 

Currently, a law enforcement agency can pay for the initial training of a recruited law enforcement officer. As soon as the officer becomes trained and passes the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards exam, the officer can move to another agency without owing anything for training, leaving the agency to pay the cost of training while still remaining short-staffed.  

“We must do something to stop this practice,” Carter said. “We cannot continue to allow law enforcement agencies to foot the bill for recruits only for the recruits to leave the agencies high and dry. It is unfair for law enforcement agencies to pay for a recruit’s training, with the expectation that the recruit will work for them once the training is completed, only to have the trainee leave. This bill will address this issue and allows for agencies who are short-staffed to pay for a recruit’s training without the risks of losing both what they paid and the trained officer.”

In July 2000, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that tuition contracts were a violation of state law. Current law states that employers cannot receive financial compensation in exchange for hiring, and the court found that tuition contracts were a violation of the law because of the repayment requirement.