In Loving Memory of
Susie M. Bennett
July 12, 1928 - Feb. 19, 2012
Your Source for Information
Report on Detroit's crisis correctly highlights public safety
Orr's report highlights what everybody is already aware of and that is public safety. In order for Detroit to rebound public safety will need a large infusion of money, personnel and crime solving practioners. As we told you Detroit will soon have a new chief and the Chief of Police in Cincinnati is the guy, but he nor any other human being will be able to truly solve Detroit's crime problem if the resources aren't provided. There can be no blue smoke in mirrors philosophy to solving the problem. Detroit needs an honest effort supported and lead by honest and committed leaders, not egomaniacs with a personal agenda.
A LEADER IS A DEALER IN HOPE!
What Can the New Chief of Police Really Do to Make Officers Happy?
So now the 5th Chief in less than 4 years will take the reigns of the police department in Detroit. Though he wasn’t Mayor Bing’s choice Bing still gets credit since he is the mayor, even if in name only. Clearly Kevyn Orr has the con and he’s calling all the shots in Detroit now thanks to very bad present leadership on city council and in the mayor’s office. Whatever may have gone wrong in the previous 40 years or so seems a faint memory when we watch how awful those elected recently to represent the people and the city have performed. But back to the new chief, in making his rounds last week he said all the right things. He said the police department will once again be a superior department. He said he was going to cut command staff and put more boots on the ground. He said he would boost the morale of officers and he said one murder is one too many. In some respects it all sounds too familiar, we had previous chiefs who boasted of miraculous change coming. The infamous Jerry Oliver said he would boost morale and so he hired a morale booster at a police officers salary. That turned into a morale buster. Warren Evans bragged about cutting crime, in betwwen shooting videos of himself, but like Jerry Oliver and Ella Bully-Cummings the numbers changed but the math was fuzzy. Former Chief Godbee and soon to be former Chief Logan know all too well a problem that the incoming chief should make himself most familiar with and that is a department that is devoid of resources and personnel. Chief James Craig can sing any tune he wants about stopping the surge in crime but unless and until he gets an influx of money from somewhere which will allow for the hiring of police officers and updating old equipment there will be no real substantive change. If someone tells you there are over 3000 police officers currently their lying. The police department has under 2000 personnel total, including the chief, and about 500 who could retire today. The police department hasn’t seen 3000 officers since 2005. Pulling police officers from behind desk and putting them back on the streets sounds good and it’s a nice sound bite for the 6 O’clock news but how is that going to work in reality for a cash strapped city. Some of the jobs that officers perform such as evidence technicians require a certain skill set and knowledge. That is something that people go to school for years to be trained in. You won’t get a civilian forensics or evidence technician for what you pay a police officer. In a lot of cases Detroit Police Officers are sent to school by the department to learn these skills and they do it for far less than the market rate. That’s one of the benefits of training your own officers to take on these jobs because you save millions of dollars. The department has people who are trained in grant writing, some who are lawyers and some who have specialized training and federal clearances. All of these people could make 2 or 3 times what they make as officers in the private sector. But not one person became a Detroit Police Officer with the notion of getting rich. If the new chief is indeed serious about boosting morale when he arrives in July for his first day of work he should return the 10% cut in pay that officers have endured since last July. He said he wants officers to be happy when they arrive to answer a run. It’s going to take a lot of work and a vastly different style of management than officers have seen to achieve what he wants to see. Eliminating the 12 hour shifts will achieve less tired officers which could lead to happiness. Also flushing out the parasitic culture that exists at the executive level may not lead to happiness but many officers would be pleased. Rewarding merit instead of mediocrity may not make officers happy but they would be glad. A bottom up instead of a top down hierarchal structure could certainly cause delight. The point is, he’s got a long way to go before he can finally see a happy officer. If the recent past is any indicator of future results he should probably keep his luggage nearby.