Committee approves Jones’ police academy background check bill

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to allow the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to receive background check information on individuals entering police training academies.

“Doing a background check on every prospective law enforcement officer is critical to ensuring that we have the best men and women possible to protect and serve Michigan residents,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is just common sense that our police training academies should know if an applicant has a criminal record so that they can make sure they are not teaching firearms training to violent offenders.”

MCOLES currently does not have authority to gain information from the Michigan State Police (MSP) on fingerprints submitted for a criminal history record information check by persons wanting to enter a preservice college basic law enforcement training academy or a regional basic law enforcement training academy.

Senate Bill 524 would allow MCOLES to have the MSP conduct fingerprint background checks of applicants to law enforcement training academies through the MSP system and through the FBI.

“It was shocking to me that we were not already doing these important background checks,” said Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff. “I want to thank MCOLES and the state police for their assistance on this issue. With their support, we should be able to fix this problem quickly.”

SB 524 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.