Unfortunately, we are facing an epidemic of violence and crime in our state. Communities like Flint, Pontiac, and Detroit are plagued by high rates of crime and violence.
That is why I support Governor Snyder's efforts to hire more State Police troopers and station them in the most violent cities. We also need to ensure our cities have the resources they need to pay and equip enough police officers to fight crime within their own jurisdictions. The state needs to be a better partner with cities and I am hopeful the new structure of Detroit city government will allow the city to regain its fiscal footing.
I am proud accept the Police Officers Association of Michigan's award of Legislator of the Year for 2012. It is an honor being recognized and an obligation to continue working to ensure public safety is a top priority in the Legislature.
This year, I introduced a measure to repeal Michigan's "stand your ground" law. This is the only law on the books I can think of that actually promotes violence. Acting in self-defense should never be a crime, but "stand your ground" goes too far, handcuffing the ability for law enforcement to prosecute cases in which a claim for self-defense is very much in doubt.
Finally, we need to address the cultural problems of violence in our state. Violence too often seems like the first solution to problems by people without hope and opportunity. Those who turn to violence need to be prosecuted, but we need to ensure economic opportunity and hope for the future for those individuals who may see violence and crime as their only option.