By Mike Kruzman /

A local lawmaker’s bill would provide extra support to law enforcement officers and first responders.

State Representative Mike Mueller of Linden’s bill to provide $368.5-million in funding to help with recruitment, retention, community outreach, and equipment upgrades passed through the House, Thursday.

Mueller said that a portion of that funding will be dedicated to increased mental health supports for police and first responders.

The plan also dedicates funding for school resource officers that Mueller believes will help strengthen relationships between police and students that otherwise wouldn’t occur. In the wake of Tuesday’s school shooting in Oxford, the plan was expanded even further to include $50-million for the SROs.

Public safety personnel who missed work because of COVID could be reimbursed for lost wages under the plan.

New policy would allow law enforcement agencies to pay for a recruit’s academy tuition and enter a 5-year contract with them. More resources would also become available for body cameras, narcotics team gear, communications equipment upgrades, local police K-9 units and other essentials.

Mueller said that the men and women in uniform who serve our communities need support now more than ever before, and that they are making that a priority. The plan now goes to the Michigan Senate for further consideration.