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State Rep. Mike Mueller speaks at a press conference announcing details of a plan to support law enforcement by attracting new talent to the profession, developing the skills of existing police officers, funding important services like road patrols and community policing, and offering mental health support.

Rep. Mueller spearheads plan to support law enforcement
RELEASE|May 13, 2021
Contact: Mike Mueller

Measure offers support for mental health services, training quality officers

State Rep. Mike Mueller today announced a plan to support law enforcement and provide resources to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve.

Mueller, a retired sheriff’s deputy, worked with other state representatives who have served in law enforcement to develop the plan with a focus on attracting new talent to the profession, developing the skills of existing police officers, funding important services like road patrols and community policing, and offering mental health support.

“I can’t stress enough how important the mental health component of our plan is,” said Mueller, of Linden. “With the number of police officers who kill themselves outnumbering those who die in the line of duty each year, you know we have a problem. Addressing this issue was one of the driving reasons why I was compelled to serve as a state representative.

“There was a point where I, myself, almost became a statistic. I was dealing with the weight of being involved in an officer-involved shooting, coupled with all the other traumatic scenes and the everyday physiological stresses of the job. I would not be standing here today if it wasn’t for the proactive actions of my department.”

Other parts of the plan include:

  • State support for recruiting strong candidates into police academies.
  • Tuition assistance for people considering the academy.
  • A work study program to give people an opportunity to consider a career in law enforcement.
  • Funding for community policing initiatives shown to improve relationships between law enforcement officers and people in the neighborhoods they serve.
  • Incentives for expanded use of body cameras.
  • Resources for departments to provide de-escalation training.
  • Signing bonuses and recruitment marketing to help attract new officers.
  • State support for rural or “secondary” road patrols.

In total, the comprehensive plan includes important policy changes and $80 million in financial support. In order to begin some of the attraction programs and community policing as soon as possible, the parts of the plan that include a budget component were added to a supplemental budget bill approved by the House today. Other statutory changes, including future reforms still being developed, will be introduced and discussed in committee in the near future.

More details about the plan are available here.

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