Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was expected to announce a $15 million package of public safety funding and reforms Wednesday in Flint, reports the Associated Press. The plan is expected to include crime prevention and criminal justice reforms to help former criminals gain skills and jobs. Michigan’s crime problem has drawn international attention, and Snyder noted during his February budget address that Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw rank among the nation's top 10 in violent crime rates for cities with at least 50,000 people.
“That's unacceptable,” Snyder said. It's unclear, however, whether his proposal will do much to help local governments cope with steep declines in police and firefighters during the past decade. Shrinking state and local budgets have left the state with 3,400 fewer law enforcement officers since the terrorist attacks in September 2001, according to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. Michigan lost nearly 15 percent of its civilian and officer law enforcement employees combined from 2001 through 2010, the steepest percentage drop in the U.S., according to a review of annual FBI statistics.