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Gov. Whitmer Announces Operation Safe Neighborhoods Reaches New Milestone with More than 200 Illegal Guns Off the Street and 235 Arrests


December 1, 2022 



Gov. Whitmer Announces Operation Safe Neighborhoods Reaches New Milestone with More than 200 Illegal Guns Off the Street and 235 Arrests


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on the number of illegal guns taken off the streets as a part of the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program. Since the operation began, law enforcement officials have conducted 1,767 check-ins with felony offenders, leading to 205 illegal guns taken off the street before they could be used in commission of a crime. During sweeps, officers have also recovered countless illegal drugs and ammunition. 


“As governor, keeping families and communities safe is my top priority,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today, I am proud to announce that Operation Safe Neighborhoods has taken 205 illegal guns off the street before they could be used in commission of a crime. Since I took office, I have worked across the aisle to invest over $1 billion in public safety. I will continue working with anyone to prevent gun violence, bring down crime, and help Michiganders feel safe in their neighborhood.” 


Operation Safe Neighborhoods is a statewide crack down on crime aimed 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.  


“Every Michigander in every corner of the state deserves to live freely and safely,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “I am encouraged to see the progress happening around the state as local law enforcement agencies put state resources to work to prevent gun violence and crime by getting guns off our streets. Governor Whitmer and I look forward to continuing to invest in all of the mechanisms available to us to create communities where every person feels safe, knowing that the state of Michigan is invested in their future.”


“Reducing the number of firearms on our streets and in our communities is a critical part of preventing gun violence,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Families should feel safe in their neighborhoods, free from the threat of ghost guns and other illegal firearms. I have joined with attorneys general across our country to crack down on the proliferation of these weapons and I am happy to be part of the progress being made in Michigan to get guns off our streets.”


“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


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. 


About Operation Safe Neighborhoods  

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. 


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. 


Governor Whitmer’s $1 Billion 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.  


In the balanced, bipartisan budget Governor Whitmer signed in July, she made the largest investment in public safety since taking office: $670,315,000. This investment brings the total funding for first responders and public safety initiatives under the Whitmer-Gilchrist administration to $1,056,267,100


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.   


In July, 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.