MCOLES holds police-community forum

MARQUETTE –Representatives from The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards(MCOLES) visited Marquette on Monday to get the public’s intake on improving the relationship between local police and the community.

This is just one of several community forums held state-wide after MCOLES received an executive directive from Governor Rick Snyder. The directive instructed the commission to research better practice recommendations that would strengthen the relationship between the community and police agencies by fostering better trust, training and recruiting.

A few reoccurring themes popped up in the other forums, such as more community engagement that gets officers out of patrol cars and more embedded into the community. MCOLES Executive Director, David Harvey, said he was interested to see the community concerns of the U.P. compared to those of Flint and Detroit.

“Police officers up here have to do it a little differently because they’re on their own. Many times, their back up is an hour away and those are things I never had to worry about down state,” Harvey said. “I think there’s different tactics possibly being used. Since there’s not as many law enforcement officers, how often do they [the community] see them? Do they want to see them more? And how practical is that for the large jurisdictions they police?”

MCOLES will deliver their compiled data to the governor on May first with hopes that the recommendations will be discussed between local agencies and the communities they serve and protect.