As documented in the Michigan State Police LEIN Information System, the following reserve officer policy was rescinded on August 27, 2010. RESCINDED-A reserve officer, when acting in a law enforcement capacity, must be under the direct supervision of a certified law enforcement officer when accessing LEIN.
According to officials, requests were made by LEIN agencies throughout Michigan to revisit the policy. The LEIN Field Services Section will now remain neutral on the topic of “direct supervision,” allowing agencies to make their own specific decisions regarding the use of reserve officers as it relates to LEIN use.
As it stands now, any authorized agency and its personnel, including LEIN certified reserve officers, can utilize LEIN for the administration of criminal justice without any “direct supervision” limitations placed on them.
This reversal of policy comes as a surprise and a shock to many POAM local leaders. “This new ‘non-policy’ further erodes the standards necessary to run a high-caliber police or sheriff’s department,” said Monroe County DSA President Dave LaMontaine. “Citizens need to now that noncertified civilians now have access to personal and sensitive information, all in the name of saving a few bucks. Public Safety will continue to suffer when employers insist on using cheap labor to perform many police duties that require extensive training and experience.”
“In our county, some reserve officers got their badge by political appointment,” commented Wayne County DSA 1st Vice President Brian Earle. “Any improprieties surrounding LEIN usage could cost certified police officers their job. What does a reserve officer have to lose? Besides the obvious potential for personal abuse, there are many other risks to take into consideration, including homeland security.”
Ottawa County DSA president Matt VanLiere was also baffled by this sudden change in policy. “You can’t believe the hoops I have jumped through to get LEIN access for two of our courts’ full-time employees that I work very closely with,” shrugged VanLiere. “As president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Michigan and a board member of POAM, we will be looking at possible legislation to correct this breach.” It should be noted that the Lein Policy Council was disbanded by Governor Granholm two years ago.