Contact: Jennifer Putney
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 07, 2021
Macomb County Prosecutor Budget Seeks Environmental Crimes Unit Prosecutor
Mount Clemens, Michigan — Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido’s pending 2022 budget request seeks funding for an Environmental Crimes Unit prosecutor. The Environmental Crimes Unit will assist in safeguarding the County’s natural environment.
The Environmental Crimes Unit will work with police to prosecute environmental crimes such as clean water act violations, solid and hazardous waste, scrap tire, underground storage tank, pesticide application violations, wetland violations, and crimes related to falsification of environmental records. The majority of criminal cases involve violations in two areas, wetlands protection and solid waste disposal. If Lucido’s budget request is approved, a highly skilled and qualified assistant prosecuting attorney would be dedicated to the prosecution of Environmental crimes.
The Chief of the Environmental Unit will be highly qualified and skilled in holding those accountable who jeopardize environmental quality by not adhering to the laws of the State of Michigan. The Prosecutor’s Office has a burgeoning responsibility to preserve and protect the County’s environment.
The Macomb County Public Works Office has established a 24-Hour hotline to accept water pollution complaints 877-679-4337. Lucido asks residents to call the Macomb County Public Works hotline, or local law enforcement, to report potential environmental crimes.
Lake St. Clair defines the County’s eastern border, and its ecological system runs throughout Macomb. Waterways support the economy, provide drinking water, house many types of fish, plants and wildlife, and supplement numerous recreational activities.
Lucido’s budget request emphasizes integrity and putting lawyers in courtrooms. Lucido’s budget request is pending review by the County Executive and submission to the County Commission. In August, Lucido participated in meetings with the Macomb County Finance Department, the Office of County Executive, and several Macomb County Commissioners to discuss the current status of the Prosecutor’s Office and future financial needs. Prosecutor Lucido stressed that public safety must be the county’s first priority.
Lucido has consistently argued that the Prosecutor’s Office is woefully underfunded and unable to protect the public with a Human Trafficking Unit, despite funding for the same being available to the Wayne and Oakland County Prosecutors Offices. Lucido’s pending budget request seeks to add additional overall funding for 9 full-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, 4 part-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, 6 full time Administrative Staff, and 5 part-time administrative.
Lucido’s budget request seeks to adequately staff and train newly created units including a: Conviction Integrity Unit, Hate Crimes Unit, Human Trafficking Unit, Major Crimes Unit, and an Environmental Unit.
Lucido is also working with the Macomb County IT Department on a pending request for two major technology projects: a digital evidence management system and a case management system. Lucido said these systems are needed for many reasons, including due to a large increase in video evidence from police body cameras, store and homeowner video security systems, and mobile phone videos.