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Believe in Michigan: Protecting Public Safety, Building Strong Communities


January 21, 2022  


Believe in Michigan: Protecting Public Safety, Building Strong Communities 

Michiganders celebrate why they believe in Michigan through video series leading up to Governor Whitmer's State of the State address  

LANSING, Mich. - Leading up to the Governor's State of the State address, Gov. Whitmer's team set out to hear from Michiganders across the state on why they believe in Michigan. We'll share their thoughts each day leading up to the address in a video series. 

"As a former prosecutor, I am committed to protecting public safety so we can build strong, vibrant communities together," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "I will work with anyone to bring down crime, treat every Michigander with dignity and respect, and help families feel safe in their community. Together, we can build a more just Michigan where every family can thrive, where every kid can get a great education, and where every person has a path to a good-paying, high-skill job." 

 Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton

Meet Ann Arbor resident and Washtenaw County Sherrif, Jerry Clayton

"I want a state government to focus on the areas that contribute to high quality of life for all Michiganders," said Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton. "To help make our roads we travel, the water we drink, and the air we breathe safe. Support public health and strengthen the safety net for those living with behavioral health challenges. Work with us to co-produce public safety, invest in our future by supporting high quality education for our children. I want our state government to be our partner and servant leader with a vision of what can be and the competence and integrity to help make what we aspire to possible. If we're going to face and conquer some of the most profound problems around race, poverty, global warming and other critical issues, we must have the commitment and capacity to work together." 

When asked why he believes in Michigan, Clayton added, "I believe in Michigan because I believe in Michiganders, that they are resilient, innovative and committed to creating a state where each of us has the opportunity to maximize our potential. To learn, to grow, achieve and contribute. What excites me and gives me the most hope is our young folks. I always walk aware impressed by their intelligence and thoughtfulness.  But, most importantly, I'm always impressed and inspired by their commitment to creating a better world." 

Governor Whitmer's Focus on Protecting Public Safety 

As a former prosecutor, public safety is a core issue for Governor Whitmer. She has worked closely with local leaders, law enforcement officers, and community organizations to bring down crime and ensure people feel safe whether they're going to work, picking up their kids from school, or grabbing groceries.  

Through her time in office, Governor Whitmer has enacted historic criminal justice reform. She signed bipartisan "Clean Slate" laws which will help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders emerge from the criminal justice system with enhanced opportunities for jobs and housing and allow them to pursue their full potential. She also launched task forces to address pretrial incarceration and juvenile justice and pursued reforms to improve relationships between law enforcement and the people they serve. Some of Whitmer's signature accomplishments include: 

  • Proposing $75 million MI Safe Communities framework that would utilize federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to reduce crime and keep families safe by tackling the court backlog, expanding resources available to law enforcement, and uplifting communities by making investments in jobs programs, counseling, and education.  
  • Delivering $40 million in COVID hazard pay for local officers and first-responders and over $10 million premium pay for MSP troopers.  
  • Signing Clean Slate bills to make hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, including 80,000 Detroiters, eligible to have their records expunged, expanding their opportunities for jobs and housing, and invested millions of dollars to assist returning citizens with expungement.   
  • Signing budget bills delivering $1.4 billion to local governments to help them fund local police, fire departments, and emergency medical services.  

Additional highlights of Whitmer's efforts to protect public safety and build up communities can be found online.

Visit the 2022 State of the State page for videos and more