Detroit police feel pain of city's financial collapse. Feb 23, 2014 By Sharon Cohen Associated Press DETROIT — It has come to this: Even some criminals sympathize with Detroit's cops.
Baron Coleman thought he'd heard it all in his 17 years patrolling the streets. Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit’s Woes. The notion that assets like Coleman A.
Young International Airport, Belle Isle Park and the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts might be sold — either in a formal bankruptcy proceeding or in a huge city reorganization outside of the court system — has fueled outrage. “Bankruptcy scares me,” said LaTanya Boyce, a nurse practitioner. She urges her patients to treat health concerns before they become acute because, she said, “if they find themselves calling 911, it’s probably too late.” Detroit police response times down, but official numbers questioned. When state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr first pleaded with a federal bankruptcy court to help Detroit in July 2013, he made his case with sobering statistics: the city's high levels of poverty, blight and abandonment, its declining population and tax revenues, and its insane crime rate.
Orr pointed out how long it took police, on average, to get to the highest-priority crimes: Fifty-eight minutes, or nearly an hour. It was partial proof the city couldn't "meet obligations to its citizens," Orr told the court. It was a shocking number - and one repeated by Gov. Rick Snyder, the man who appointed Orr.
And in December 2013 U.S. Now, nearly a year after Detroit's emergence from bankruptcy, Detroit Police Chief James Craig says response times have fallen below 15 minutes; and Mayor Mike Duggan, who loves data and scorecards, regularly touts the precipitous reduction with similar numbers. "You remember those days? Cuts to pensions of Detroit retirees go into effect. By Thomas Gaist 3 March 2015 Retired Detroit city workers began receiving diminished pensions checks on Sunday, in accordance with the bankruptcy plan drawn up by former Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr and approved by the federal court system.
In all, some 32,000 active and retired city workers will be impacted by the cuts to constitutionally protected Detroit city worker pensions called for in Orr’s plan. Cuts to pensions were authorized in December 2013 by federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes in defiance of clear language in Michigan’s state constitution stating that public pensions cannot be “diminished or impaired.” Most retirees will endure a 4.5 percent “base cut” in addition to the loss of their cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payments and the “clawing back” by the city of nearly $240 million in annuity payments distributed to city workers over the past decade.
“Syncora, the financial insurance guarantee corporation, they ended up getting assets. Detroit uncovers $50M in unspent bond funds. Detroit — The Duggan administration has uncovered millions in unspent bond funds for desperately needed capital upgrades.
That revelation was unveiled as part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s proposed $1 billion balanced general fund budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year that he presented Thursday to the City Council. The unspent bond funds that date back decades will be allocated for park and public safety improvements. The dollars were approved by voters as far back as 1987, Duggan said. The great scrap-metal scrap. New chief putting mark on Detroit fire dept. In his first months as the new head of Detroit’s beleaguered Fire Department, Eric Jones is building bridges with union leaders, touting improved response times and a decline in arson fires.
But aging infrastructure, worker safety and wages are among the issues that remain on his hefty to-do list. Detroit led U.S. in murder, crime rates, FBI says. Detroit — Crime fell in Detroit last year, but not enough to prevent it from being the most dangerous big city in the nation, according to FBI crime statistics released Monday.
Detroit was tops in both murder rates and violent crime rates among cities with populations of more than 100,000. Two more Michigan cities, Flint and Saginaw, joined Detroit among the top five most dangerous cities with populations greater than 50,000. The release of data follows Detroit's emergence from bankruptcy Friday, and it underscores how much work remains to rebuild population and faith in the city, said Detroit Police Commission Chairman Willie Bell.
"Detroit definitely has a long way to go," he said. "People will not move into the city unless you can address this. Police Chief James Craig stressed that murder, carjackings and robberies are trending down in 2014. "This just didn't happen overnight," said Craig, who became chief in July 2013. Detroit's infrastructure crumbling while city has trouble collecting cash. The radio version of this story.
The plan to guide Detroit out of bankruptcy includes up to $150 million a year for ten years to repair neglected infrastructure. The city could go a long way in paying for that if it can find a way to collect money already owed to it. The Compuware World Headquarters building at Campus Martius is a gleaming example of a downtown revival. But last week, just down the block, the façade of revival was peeled back for a moment.
An old water pipe broke. Jeff Wattrick is a reporter for Deadline Detroit and works in the Compuware building. “There’s still a crumbling infrastructure underneath these streets and police cars patrolling this area that are not maybe in the best of shape. And a water main break is more than an inconvenience. Tommy Chang is the manager of Bangkok Crossing Thai Restaurant. I asked him if the break says much about the city's need to invest more in its old infrastructure. "Yes, it does," said Chang. Detroit pays high price for arson onslaught. Detroit — Arson is a raging epidemic in Detroit, destroying neighborhoods and lives as the city tries to emerge from bankruptcy.
Even amid a historic demolition blitz, buildings burn faster than Detroit can raze them. Last year, the city had 3,839 suspicious fires and demolished 3,500 buildings, according to city records analyzed by The Detroit News. Burned homes scar neighborhoods for years: Two-thirds of those that caught fire from 2010-13 are still standing, records show. "Nothing burns like Detroit," said Lt. Detroit police response times down, but official numbers questioned. Retired police, firefighters reach deal with Detroit. DETROIT — The City of Detroit reached a deal Tuesday with a retired police and firefighters group to preserve current pensions, according to mediators.
The deal, which Detroit bankruptcy mediator Gerald Rosen revealed, comes as the city also is close to reaching an agreement with its Official Committee of Retirees and two independently run pension fund boards. The Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association agreed to support a deal that would involve not cutting monthly pension checks and keeping almost half of annual cost-of-living increases, Rosen said in a statement. The current cost-of-living adjustment is 2.25%. For Detroit retirees, pension cuts become reality. Detroit — Pension and benefit reductions reached through the city's historic bankruptcy will begin showing up in the monthly checks of Detroit retirees beginning Sunday. The cuts affect an estimated 20,000 retirees in the city's two pension funds. They are outlined in a court-approved plan that allows the city to shed $7 billion in debt and invest $1.7 billion into restructuring and service improvements over the next decade.
"Lack of accountability, poor management" source of Detroit Fire Dept. problems. Our conversation with Steve Neavling The news site Motor City Muckraker took it upon itself to track every fire in the city of Detroit for a year. When you take on a project like that, you begin to see and hear about the problems faced by one of the most overworked fire departments in the nation. Steve Neavling runs Motor City Muckraker. How 10,000+ fires devoured Detroit neighborhoods over the past 3 years. Detroit has fewest police officers since the 1920’s. Fewer cops are patrolling Detroit’s streets than at any other time since the 1920s. According to police data obtained by the Detroit News, the city now employs only 1,590 officers, leaving the department understaffed in the most violent city in the U.S.
That’s down from 3,139 in 2000, and closer to the number of officers the city had before it increased its ranks to fight Prohibition bootleggers. “This is a crisis, and the dam is going to break,” Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, told the News. “It’s a Catch-22: I know the city is broke, but we’re not going to be able to build up a tax base of residents and businesses until we can provide a safe environment for them.”