House panel approves Jones’ police academy background check bill

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday 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.

“It was shocking to me that our police training academies were not already doing full background checks on all of their applicants,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “These important checks are the only way for the state to know if police academy applicants have criminal records. Without this safety check, it’s possible that our training academies could be providing 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 is critical to keeping our communities safe that we do our best to ensure we have the best men and women possible to protect and serve Michigan residents,” said Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff. “I want to thank the House committee for their support. I look forward to seeing the House quickly approve this measure and make sure that every prospective law enforcement officer passes a background check.”

SB 524 now heads to the full House for consideration.