Jones’ police academy background check bill headed to governor

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to allow criminal background checks on police training academy applicants is on its way to the governor.

“This is part of a continued effort to keep our communities safe by doing everything we can to ensure Michigan has the best men and women protecting and serving our families,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this important legislation and make sure that no prospective police officer in our state has a violent criminal past.”

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (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.

“The only way to know whether or not police academy applicants have criminal records is to do full background checks,” said Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff. “I was shocked that our police training academies were not already doing these critical checks. Without these reviews, it’s possible that our academies could be providing firearms training to criminals.”