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Gov. Whitmer Announces Operation Safe Neighborhoods Reaches New Milestone with More Than 500 Illegal Guns Off the Street


October 16, 2023



Gov. Whitmer Announces Operation Safe Neighborhoods Reaches New Milestone with More Than 500 Illegal Guns Off the Street


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that over 500 illegal guns have been taken off the streets as part of Operation Safe Neighborhoods. Since the operation began, law enforcement officials have conducted 4,572check-ins with felony offenders, leading to 503 illegal guns taken off the street. During sweeps, officers have also recovered illegal drugs and ammunition.  


“As a former prosecutor, protecting public safety is a top priority,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today, I’m proud to announce over 500 illegal guns have been recovered as a part of the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program, before they could be used in the commission of a crime. Earlier this year, I signed three commonsense gun violence prevention laws establishing universal background checks, safe storage requirements, and extreme risk protection orders. We will keep working together to reduce gun violence and save lives.”


Operation Safe Neighborhoods is a statewide crackdown 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.


Nearly one in three reported violent crimes in Michigan involve a firearm. This initiative builds on Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Communities program that she launched in 2021 to invest in local police, get illegal guns off the street, and fund expanded opportunities in jobs, education, and the justice system. 


“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community,” said Col. James F. Grady II, director of the Michigan State Police. “Taking illegal guns off the streets helps us all and I commend the Michigan Department of Corrections on this effort.”


“It is important to recognize the continued dedication and progress being made to make Michigan communities safer — we have a governor who cares, a Legislature that maintains the momentum in introducing gun reform bills and a judicial system that day in and day out works to deliver justice,” said state Representative Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield), chair of the Michigan Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus. “I applaud all those who continue in this journey and those who play a vital part in making Michigan’s communities and people safer. This announcement is another win for Michiganders, and I can’t thank the governor enough for her continued support. The confiscation of 500 illegal guns can change more lives.”     


“I’m proud of the work and commitment we’ve shown in Michigan to get gun violence out of neighborhoods and communities,” said state Representative Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac). “Lawmakers are standing strong and moving smart, and one of the results is taking 500 illegal guns from people who had no business having a firearm in the first place due to their criminal history. This announcement today is meaningful progress in the statewide implementation of Operation Safe Neighborhoods. Once again, it’s promises made, promises kept on making Michigan’s neighborhoods and communities safer.”


About Operation Safe Neighborhoods


MDOC parole and probation agents teamed up 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 firearm. 


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 focusing on high-risk individuals who have weapons possession in their criminal history that could be used to commit further crime.


Governor Whitmer’s Record Breaking Public Safety Investments


Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has worked closely with local leaders, law enforcement officers, and community organizations to ensure people feel safe in their neighborhoods. The governor has signed five balanced, bipartisan budgets, each making record investments to help communities fund local law enforcement departments and hire more first responders.


The FY2024 budget includes:

  • $171.5 million in public safety grants, benefitting communities across the state.
  • $18.2 million to provide in-service training to licensed law enforcement officers.
  • $10 million toward leveraging the State Police Training Academy to serve as a criminal justice training hub to support realistic, multi-disciplinary training opportunities for law enforcement agencies across the state.
  • $9 million to run a Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School, graduating an anticipated 50 new recruits.
  • $6.8 million to establish the Office of Community Violence Intervention Services to partner with community-based organizations already working to reduce violent incidents.
  • $2.9 million to implement gun violence prevention policies.