FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2023
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Gov. Whitmer Announces Operation Safe Neighborhoods Reaches New Milestone with More Than 350 Illegal Guns Off the Street
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on the number of illegal guns taken off the streets as part of Operation Safe Neighborhoods. Since the operation began, law enforcement officials have conducted nearly 4,000 check-ins with felony offenders, leading to 354 illegal guns taken off the street. During sweeps, officers have also recovered illegal drugs and ammunition.
“As a former prosecutor, public safety is a top priority for me,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today, I’m proud to announce over 350 illegal guns have been recovered as a part of the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program. We launched Operation Safe Neighborhoods to get illegal guns off our streets before they could be used in future crimes. And it’s why, in my most recent budget, I proposed nearly $500 million to keep families safe, building on the $1 billion in bipartisan public safety funding we’ve invested since I took office. This year, we will make another strong investment to keep people safe and pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation. Let’s keep using every tool in our toolbox to keep Michiganders safe.”
Operation Safe Neighborhoods is a statewide crack down on crime aimed at reducing gun violence by getting illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of people who cannot legally be in possession of a gun due to prior criminal history.
“Michigan families deserve to feel safe at home, school, and work,” said Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist. “Operation Safe Neighborhoods is part of our ongoing commitment to crack down on crime and keep illegal guns off the streets. We are also hiring more first responders, supporting them with scholarships and training, and funding the Office of Community Violence Intervention to deliver real change and keep Michiganders safe. Governor Whitmer and I are committed to building on this progress and continuing our partnerships with local law enforcement to prevent gun violence.”
Nearly one in three reported violent crimes in Michigan involve a firearm. This initiative builds on Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Communities program that she launched in 2021 to invest in local police, get illegal guns off the street, and fund expanded opportunities in jobs, education, and the justice system.
In her 2024 budget recommendation Governor Whitmer, proposed nearly $500 million to keep Michigan communities safe. Her proposals included funding to implement gun violence prevention policies and revenue sharing for public safety, including employee recruitment, retention, training, and equipment for first responders.
About Operation Safe Neighborhoods
MDOC parole and probation agents teamed up with local law enforcement across the state and have been conducting enhanced compliance checks on probationers and parolees who are legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
There are roughly 32,000 probationers and 8,500 parolees in the state, of which 20 percent have been convicted previously of a gun crime. These individuals are supervised by more than 1,000 MDOC parole and probation agents. The plan the department devised and implemented is aimed at the strategic targeting of high-risk individuals who have weapons possession in their criminal history that could be used to commit further crime.
Governor Whitmer’s Proposals to Keep Communities Safe
Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has invested more than $1 billion to keep communities safe, including funding to keep kids safe at school, support the Department of Military and veterans Affairs, and enact historic criminal justice reform. In February, she announced her 2024 executive budget recommendation which includes $500 million to build on this funding. Governor Whitmer’s proposals include dedicated resources for the first time ever to hire, train, and retain local cops, firefighters, and EMTs and upgrade public safety facilities and equipment. She also calls for funding to implement gun violence prevention policies and expand programs aimed at reducing recidivism.
Her budget recommendation includes:
This month, Governor Whitmer signed legislation that addressed one of the proposals laid out in her budget recommendation to establish the Community Violence Intervention initiative and provide grants to community-based organizations that provide community violence intervention services.