They have guns, wear badges and patrol Michigan’s streets.

They’re even in uniform. But they’re not real cops.

Across Michigan, police departments have enlisted civilians to work alongside licensed officers to patrol communities and even assist real cops with arrests. But unlike the regular officers licensed by the state, these armed civilians are unregulated.

A Detroit Free Press investigation found there are no state-established training requirements for reserve officers, as they are commonly known; no standards for screening their qualifications, and no process for monitoring their conduct. The state agency responsible for police licensing and training is not regulating reserve officers — despite gaining authority last year to do just that — and has no idea how many such unlicensed volunteers there are statewide.

Continue reading:  They look like cops, but they’re not. And they’re all over Michigan.

8 thoughts on “They look like cops, but they’re not. And they’re all over Michigan.

  1. In the small city where I used to live, there was essentially NO law enforcement. There wasn’t any police department and sheriff deputies were at least 30 minutes away. As a result, we had a (very) small group of dedicated and concerned citizens that donated their NIGHTS to patrol the area. I don’t recall if they were armed … I think they might have been. Under the circumstances, I wouldn’t have been upset if they were.

    Our situation was certainly not the ideal remedy, but considering the number of “tweakers” and dopers and drunks and other unsavory individuals who lived in the valley (one of the reasons we moved), we appreciated these pseudo law enforcement volunteers.

    But the situation you’ve referred to is a whole ‘nother thing. And it’s downright scary! Law enforcement volunteers, as the article said, can be extremely helpful … but their duties most definitely should be limited to areas that don’t require a GUN!

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    • You’re right, the situation in Michigan is very different. Their use of unlicensed cops has little to do with enforcing the law and much to do with privatization schemes, deregulation, enabling tax cuts for the wealthy, and diminishing the power of labor unions.

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