Crime in Michigan is down, but spending on Michigan State Police has gone way up.
The budget for Michigan State Police rose 37 percent over Gov. Rick Snyder’s first seven budgets, when factoring in inflation. The spike comes even as fewer people are going to prison, and violent crime is waning.
Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton and state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, said that’s partly due to an increase in the number of state troopers. Heaton said 60 percent of state troopers currently on the force have been hired since Snyder took office in 2011. That includes in cities that have partnered with the state for public safety, she said.
[Editor's Note: This is just one story in a series examining Michigan's budgets during Gov. Rick Snyder's tenure as he prepares to release his final budget proposal.]
Hildenbrand said the Legislature has been interested in building up the State Police after staffing fell during the mid-2000s. State data show the number of active classified employees at the State Police went from a low of 2,360 in 2012 to 2,893 by 2017, the highest point since at least 2007.
That includes more troopers, more officers enforcing traffic laws for commercial vehicles, and more cyber crime analysts and forensic scientists, spokeswoman Shanon Banner said. Added funding also allowed State Police to process more sexual assault kits.
“We have found that more (spending) in law enforcement means a better effort in prevention of crime,” Hildenbrand said. “A lot of us, including me, believe that a better, stronger public safety (and) law enforcement side equates to a safer state and less people in prison, ultimately.”
Gov. Snyder has changed how the state spends tax money
- How Gov. Snyder's budgets have allocated Michigan's tax revenue
- Snyder’s Michigan: Fewer prisoners, less prison spending
- Snyder’s Michigan: Less crime, but more funding for State Police
- Snyder’s Michigan: Budgets for executive branch and Legislature grow
- Snyder’s Michigan: Business taxes fall, burden shifts to residents
- Snyder’s Michigan: More spending, but Michigan government remains small
- Snyder’s Michigan: Doubling down on agriculture