By Jon King /

Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy says police reform that is being championed by Joe Biden has the potential to be worse than the “failed law enforcement community degradation” he alleges occurred during the Obama Administration.

Murphy joined with Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz for an event today organized by the campaign to reelect Donald Trump. The event was organized as polls consistently show Biden out ahead of the President in Michigan, considered one of the key battleground states in November.

Chatfield and Schuette maintain the former Vice President wants to “defund the police” despite PolitiFact calling the allegations “false” while labeled an ad including the allegation that was aired by the Trump Campaign as “deceptive.” However, Chatfield alleged that Biden has refused to say he doesn’t support defunding police, although the former Vice President did just that at a virtual fundraiser hosted by the mayor of Atlanta on Wednesday, saying that not only did he not want to defund police, he also wanted to “get police more money” to potentially hire more social workers and psychologists. Biden has also vowed that if elected he would establish a national police oversight commission to ensure that departments nationwide undertake a comprehensive review of their hiring, training, and de-escalation practices.

Murphy says his concern is that any effort to shift resources away from putting officers in the street will result in a bigger disconnect between police and their communities. “If we had the same number of law enforcement, it should not be directly attached or tied to the crime rate. So for example, our calls for service have not gone down. Our criminal investigations have stayed flat in Livingston County, maybe have gone down a little bit, but my point is that gives my folks an opportunity to be out in the public a little bit more to make those connections because we need to understand what the community wants from us and be able to police in that manner.”

Murphy also said he was concerned said efforts to put fewer police on the street will only make worse a trend over the past two decades. "After September 11th, the checkbook was open. Law enforcement could have got anything they wanted. But now here we are later, like I said, 2,500 cops less in Michigan than we had at that time. And then the pandemic hits initially and we were all heroes because we were essential workers. And then all of a sudden, the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, and now we're zero. So we went from hero to zero in about a millisecond and now we're talking about defunding. My argument would be this; there doesn't need to be less funding for law enforcement. There needs to be more funding for law enforcement."

The Biden campaign has said that is not at all what he has proposed and point to his pledge to make a $300 million investment in the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, “which authorized funding both for the hiring of additional police officers and for training on how to undertake a community policing approach.”

Chatfield and Schuette also alleged that Biden is beholden to the “extreme” progressives in his party, a position that mirrors a video advertisement on Facebook from a pro-Trump Super PAC that Reuters has called “misleading” pointing that “Biden has in fact resisted demands from liberal activists to defund police departments, instead proposing a $300-million investment in policing, contingent on officers mirroring the diversity of their communities.”

Trump, meanwhile, was recently endorsed by the Police Officers Association of Michigan, which cited his resistance to law enforcement reform movements as the main reason for their support.