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State legislators to address escalating crime rates, fallen officers

Oakland County, Mich. — State Sens. Jim Runestad and Ruth Johnson, along with a coalition of legislators, elected officials and law enforcement officers, will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. on Feb. 14 at the Waterford Township Hall to address escalating crime rates, which have been on the rise nationally and regionally.

According to statistics from the Oakland County Sheriff’s department, robbery is up 67% over the last year while reports of motor vehicle theft is up 138%. The department also saw a 20% increase in failure to appear and a 67% increase in escape and flight charges.

While official Michigan State Police statewide data is not yet available for 2021, the 2020 records show that, from 2019 to 2020, murder increased 37%, aggravated assault increased by over 20%, and carjacking increased by over 122%.

“From 2019 to 2021 statistics, we see that crime is exploding; this is despite the fact that court closures have delayed trials and there is a backlog of pending cases,” Runestad said. “In 2019, one officer died in the line of duty; since 2019, we’ve lost 20 officers. How many more officers have to die before we address the systemic, rampant, criminal justice issues and failed policies that are creating havoc in our state?”

Presenters will highlight key issues affecting public safety, including officer discouragement and lack of desire to enter the profession by potential recruits; limited resources; lack of warrant enforcement; low or no bail for violent offenders; lack of sentencing uniformity for violent and habitual offenders statewide; parole enforcement; no enforcement of weapon’s charges; revolving door of arrests and releases; and public perceptions of officers and public safety.

Who: State Sens. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, and Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, along with legislative colleagues and local elected officials.

Confirmed presenters include: Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard; Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham; Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, president of the Michigan’s Sheriff’s Association; Grand Blanc Township Police Chief Ronald Wiles, president of the Michigan Chiefs of Police Association; Sixth Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren; Wayne Beerbower, executive board member for the Police Officers Association of Michigan; Nate Johnson, president of the Michigan State Troopers Association; and officials from the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police and Michigan Association of Police Organizations.

When: Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at 10 a.m.

Where: Waterford Township Hall, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford, MI 48329

For data sources, see below. Additional compiled 2021 data will be released at the press conference. For more information, contact Runestad’s office at 517-373-1758.

DATA SOURCES
The below data breakdown was made by comparing the Michigan State Police 2019 Michigan Incident Crime Report to the 2020 Crime in Michigan Annual Report. The MSP is unable to share 2021 until it has been compiled.

Statewide Violent and Property Crime Increases from years 2019 – 2020

  • Murder/ Non-Negligent Manslaughter increased 36.6%
  • Aggravated Assault increased 21.6%

Other statewide Criminal Offenses that Increased from years 2019 – 2020

  • Aggravated/ Felonious Assault increased 17.26%
  • Carjacking increased 122.58%
  • Arson increased 10.72%
  • Motor Vehicle as Stolen Property increased 42.67%
  • Fraud-Welfare increased 227.5%
  • Fraud Wire increased 6.17%
  • Fraud-Identity Theft increased 18.22%

Oakland County Crime Change from 2019 – 2020

  • Murder/ Non-Negligent Manslaughter increased 31.82%
  • Aggravated/ Felonious Assault increased 18.1%
  • Motor Vehicle Theft increased 18.45%
  • Arson increased 41.51%

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Reported Crime Change 2020 – 2021

  • Robbery – Motor Vehicle (Car Jacking) have increased 66.7%
  • Motor Vehicle Theft increased 21%
  • Motor vehicle as Stolen Property Increased 138%
  • Obstructing Police increased 6.3%
  • Escape/ Flight increased 66.7%
  • Failure to Appear increased 21.9%
  • Conditional Release Violation increased 58.3%
  • Traffic Offenses increased 15.6%
  • Juvenile Offenses and Complaints increased 49%

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