Sheriff who joined George Floyd protest pleased with Biden’s pro-police pledge

A Michigan sheriff who marched with protesters in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death has shown by deed the benefits of funding the police and was pleased to hear the president acknowledge that need.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson spoke with Fox News Digital about actions he has taken in his community since 2020 including the launch of a program to reduce recidivism.

Swanson drew national attention in June 2020 when he was filmed actively listening to protestors in an effort to unite his community.

“We want to be with you all, for real,” Swanson said at the time “So, I took my helmet off, we laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest.”


Swanson later said, “This is the way it’s supposed to be – the police working with the community. When we see injustice, we call it out on the police side and on the community side. All we had to do was talk to them, and now we’re walking with them.”

After that, Swanson found members of his community asking, “What are you going to do?” to which he would reply, “I’m going to change jail populations, and we’re going to educate people. We’re going to turn from incarceration to education.”

In September 2020, Swanson did exactly that with the creation of his program for Inmate Growth Naturally & Intentionally Through Education (IGNITE). “We are transforming lives,” Swanson said. “Why not make it constructive while they’re there?”

Since its inception, almost 2,000 inmates have enrolled in Swanson’s program, participating in nearly 140,000 hours of instruction. In addition to overall math skills and reading comprehension increasing a grade and a grade and a half respectively for enrollees, several inmates have gone on to receive GEDs and college degrees.

This is why Swanson was pleased when he heard President Joe Biden say during the State of the Union (SOTU), “We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

“As a police officer,” Swanson stated, “and what we’ve lived through and what we believe in – what we do – it was the best quote of the night.”

“…we need to always check what we’re doing,” Swanson expressed in part. “We have a great mighty sword that we wield as law enforcement. And when you have that much authority and that much autonomy, it has to be respected more than anything else.”

Swanson has actively worked with Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) on acquiring federal funding for IGNITE. Kildee apportioned $768,000 of the $1.5 trillion omnibus bill passed this week to go toward Genesee County, including the Sheriff’s Office and Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

“With the IGNITE program,” Kildee said, “Sheriff Swanson is giving Michiganders who have paid their debt to society a second chance at life through educational and career opportunities.”

Kildee was likely one of the members of Congress applauding Biden during the SOTU for his revelation on these matters. However, the reality is that these policies have been known to reduce recidivism rates for some time; 40 percent according to a 2016 study.

Had Democrats united on this front during the previous administration rather than partaking in political theater, the nation would likely not be experiencing the considerable spike in crime it’s facing now. President Donald Trump took the lead on criminal justice reform and incentivized programs like Swanson’s IGNITE as benchmarks for early release.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Kevin Haggerty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles