Lawmakers in Michigan are pushing a plan to spend $15 million in state funds to support the Detroit Police Athletic League’s new Community Connection Initiative.
House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare), and state Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) announced the plan, which would spread athletics and mentorship programs across the state.
“I’ve worn the badge, and I’ve seen the importance of strong community policing,” Wentworth said in a statement, according to The Center Square. “When you make it a real priority, it can change lives and make real, tangible improvements in public safety. While others are looking to defund programs like this and limit police presence in the community, we have made it a priority in the state House to support our local police who are doing it right. PAL stands out as exactly the sort of program we are looking to help.”
The $15 million appropriation for the PAL would be spread over the next five years as the program expands to new locations.
The new funding would include $3 million annually over five years, and would allow Detroit PAL to expand its Community Connection Initiative to at least 13 other cities in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.
The program aims to strengthen trust between youth and law enforcement and would be expected to reach 20,000 young people through mentorship and athletics programs.