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Muskegon Heights aims for a more homegrown police department through grant funding

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Grants will pay for local residents to attend academy, wants cops with a “heart for the community.”

Muskegon Heights officials say, the city needs more cops, more specifically police officers who were born and raised there, and who have a heart for the community.

And in an effort to make that happen, the city has announced it’s taking part in a new $5 million First Responder Training and Recruitment Grant Program.

Approved in 2021 by Michigan lawmakers, the grant provides communities with the money needed to send recruits to the Police Academy---resources required that many small cities like the Heights simply don’t have in the fiscal budget.

Troy Bell is Muskegon Heights City Manager.

“Those people who aspire to be teachers, or social workers, nurses or physician assistants, those types of people are already drawn to those types of professions, because, they want to give to the community. They want to invest in people,” Bell said. “And those are the types of people we should be going after to recruit for law enforcement.”

The Grants will provide $100,000 for Muskegon Heights to send local residents to the Police Academy, which costs about $17,000 per student.

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