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Whitmer Launches Operation to Crack Down on Gun Crime


September 1, 2022



Gov. Whitmer Launches Operation to Crack Down on Gun Crime

First week of action led to 37 arrests and recovered 25 illegal guns as well as drugs and ammunition.

Program builds on Whitmer’s record investments in local governments to hire & support police officers.

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a statewide crack down on crime called Operation Safe Neighborhoodsaimed at reducing gun violence by getting illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of people who cannot legally be in possession of a gun due to prior criminal history. Nearly one in three reported violent crimes in Michigan involve a firearm, and in the first half of 2022, over 450 Michiganders have lost their lives due to gun violence. The new initiative builds on Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Communities program that she launched last summer to invest in local police, get illegal guns off the street, and fund expanded opportunities in jobs, education, and the justice system.

“As a former prosecutor, public safety is a top priority for me. Michiganders deserve to feel safe as they go to work, drop their kids off at school, or run errands in their neighborhoods,” said Governor WhitmerWhile the annual crime report showed that, thanks to our work, crime is flat in Michigan, there is more work to do. That’s why we launched this program to tackle crime and gun violence—two inextricably linked issues—simultaneously. We are working with law enforcement and state and local officials to prevent gun violence in Michigan in the wake of recent shootings. This year, I signed a budget into law to send local governments more money than they’ve received at any point in the last 20 years, including to hire and support additional police officers. Let’s work together to protect public safety, reduce crime, and get illegal guns off the street.”

“Every person in Michigan, no matter where they live or who they are, deserves to live freely and safely in a way that enables them to be their best selves,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist II. “When we take real action to support police-community relationships, we can put in place policies that prevent crime in the first place. I am encouraged to see this progress. We look forward to continuing to invest in all of the mechanisms available to us to create communities where every person feels safe, with their needs met, knowing that the state of Michigan is invested in their future.”

“I have partnered with attorneys general across our country to address the proliferation of illegal firearms and get these weapons off our streets,” said Attorney General Nessel. “People who circumvent the legal process for obtaining a firearm pose a serious threat to our communities. I will continue to enforce the law and hold criminals accountable.”

Recently, MDOC parole and probation agents teamed with local law enforcement across the state and have been conducting enhanced compliance checks on probationers and parolees who are legally prohibited from possessing a gun.

“Our mission as a department is creating a safer Michigan and our field agents play a crucial role in that effort. By partnering with local law enforcement on these targeted actions, we are helping to take guns and drugs off our streets, which means less crime and fewer victims,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said.

“Our troopers see the deadly results and devastating impact illegal guns have on communities every day, and I commend the Michigan Department of Corrections for their work,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police.

There are roughly 32,000 probationers and 8,500 parolees in the state, of which 20 percent have been convicted previously of a gun crime. These individuals are supervised by more than 1,000 MDOC parole and probation agents. The plan the department devised and implemented is aimed at the strategic targeting of high-risk individuals who have weapons possession in their criminal history that could be used to commit further crime.

These enhanced checks have in the past few weeks netted 37 arrests, the finding of 25 guns, and a variety of drugs and ammunition.

To view photos of the some of the illegal contraband seized during the operation, please click here.

Governor Whitmer’s Record Breaking Public Safety Investments

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 ensure people feel safe in their neighborhoods. Since taking office, she has signed four balanced, bipartisan budgets, each making record investments to help communities fund local law enforcement departments and hire more first responders. These budgets have expanded training and resources available to law enforcement from the MSP to local departments in every region of the state. 

Last summer, the governor proposed MI Safe Communities, a plan to invest $75 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to reduce crime and keep families safe by getting illegal firearms of the street, tackle the criminal court backlog, expand resources available to law enforcement, and address the root causes of crime by investing in jobs programs, counseling, and education.  

Governor Whitmer’s Criminal Justice Investments

Governor Whitmer has also worked across the aisle to enact historic criminal justice reform. She signed bipartisan "Clean Slate" legislation to help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders emerge from the criminal justice system with enhanced opportunities for jobs and housing, empowering 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.  

Governor Whitmer signed her fourth balanced, bipartisan budget that included funding for Jobs Court, a program that offers non-violent, low-level offenders gainful employment with local partnering small businesses.