Indicted Detroit Police Officers Allegedly Used Authority To Steal And Sell Drugs. Two Detroit police officers used their authority as law enforcement to arrange drug deals, orchestrate traffic stops, effect false arrests and coerce and extort victims, all in order to steal money and drugs that were then sold for profit, according to a Wednesday federal indictment that was unsealed Thursday.
Lt. David Hansberry, 34, and Officer Bryan Watson, 46, entered “not guilty” pleas in court Thursday afternoon, according to the Detroit Free Press. They were indicted on eight counts of robbery, extortion, possession of drugs with intent to sell, as well as possession of a gun in a crime of violence and drug trafficking. Both men were suspended from the force in October 2014. Hansberry and Watson were part of the Detroit Police Department’s Narcotics Section, which Chief James Craig disbanded last summer after an Internal Affairs investigation uncovered systemic problems with the handling of drugs and evidence.
(See the full indictment below) In a statement from the U.S. Struggling Detroit Firefighters Get National Charity Aid. By Christy Strawser, digital directorDETROIT (CBS Detroit) They ran out of toilet paper at one station house, used a stove for heat at another and were featured in a documentary about the 30 fires they face every day in the city that does sleep but doesn’t stop burning.
Early this year, a firefighters’ union sued the city for negligence. Now, people across the country are stepping in to help. A must read from Detroit. The state of the fire department's infrastructure. A trail that shows money allocated & spent, but facilities not fixed. - Statter911. Read & watch the March, 2009 story of firefighters taking storm door (mentioned in LeDuff’s article)Read more about reporter Charlie LeDuff By Charlie LeDuff, The Detroit News (Pictures by Max Ortiz): Why is Detroit broke?
Why are its books an unmitigated disaster? Why do things never seem to change no matter who occupies City Hall? Maybe something as simple as a screen door might explain it. Three firefighters were caught last year scavenging a screen door from an abandoned house. Devil’s Night, Er . . . “Angels Night” in Detroit: How Many Fires? Detroit's Under-Funded Fire Departments Use a Soda Can For a Fire Alarm. Detroit's top fire official, Don Austin, is resigning in wake of botched fire crisis. Detroit Fire Commissioner Don Austin, who botched the hiring of new firefighters, regularly conceals the severity of the fire crisis and oversaw drastic budget reductions, is resigning at the end of the year, city officials said today.
Residents began calling for Austin’s resignation this summer, saying he’s responsible for an increase in the number of fires that are decimating neighborhoods, jacking up home insurance rates and claiming lives. Since Austin took the helm in May 2011, firefighters’ wages were cut 10%, arsons were drastically underreported and seven fire stations were permanently closed as part of a $24-million reduction in the department’s budget. Most of those stations have since been broken into and stripped over scrap metal. Austin’s resignation wasn’t optional, city sources told us. Fire trucks continue to break down at unprecedented rates, and repairs are woefully slow. Detroit Arson A Persistent Problem As City Services Decline. By Steve Neavling July 13 (Reuters) - On the night of July 4, some Detroit residents watched fireworks, and others just watched fires, more than a dozen in a space of two hours.
The Independence Day blazes marked the latest flare up of a longtime scourge in Detroit - arson. It is a problem that has festered in the city for decades and has persisted even as the population declined. Manpower Crisis In Detroit Fire Department: 40 Percent of Rigs Out of Service Today – Deadline Detroit. The city's budget crisis landed suddenly on the Detroit Fire Department this week as officials took far more rigs out of service than ever before.
On paper, the city has had 66 rigs; about eight rigs are usually "browned out" on any given day for budget reasons, leaving around 58 fully staffed fire vehicles, or "companies," stationed across Detroit. On Thursday, the department de-activated 25 rigs, leaving only 41 vehicles to respond to calls across the 139-square-mile city, which has one of the busiest fire departments in the nation. On Friday, officials sidelined 21 rigs, plus the HazMat unit. On Wednesday, 18 rigs were shut down. The moves endanger both residents and fire fighters alike, critics charge. "I never thought the city would allow this to happen," said Dan McNamara, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association. These de-activations are not the permanent closings that are coming under the new budgetary reality in Detroit city government. Detroit is going dark - Jul. 19, 2013.
And if you're walking around the city, it might make sense to bring a flashlight -- about 40% of the 88,000 street lights don't work.
Those are two of the problems highlighted by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as he approved a bankruptcy filing for the state's biggest city. The problems have fed on themselves, resulting in 78.000 buildings either abandoned or ruined. "Does anybody think it's OK to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses? " asked emergency manager Kevyn Orr, in a news conference on Friday. Orr said the city had filed for bankruptcy because it would take more than 50 years to pay off the city's $11.5 billion in unsecured debt while not conducting even the most basic maintenance, such as filling potholes and plowing snow.
Related: Detroit bankruptcy filing came with only 5 minutes to spare Here are some of the other problems outlined in the bankruptcy filing: -- 70 Superfund hazardous waste sites -- Fire stations are "old and not adequately maintained" With The Command - Detroit Fire Department- controversy continues. Fire Department punishes critics Whistleblowers defend themselves against charges of violating Detroit station policies By Melvin Claxton and Charles Hurt / The Detroit News DETROIT -- While promising major reforms, Detroit fire officials continue to stifle criticism of the Fire Department by concealing important documents, barring firefighters from speaking to the news media and punishing whistleblowers.
Last month, fire officials changed the locks at one firehouse and threatened to punish any firefighter who let the news media into the building, which was closed for a second time in just over a year for repairs. Detroit Fire Department captain: Our equipment is 'junk' Detroit Fire Department captain Bruce Holben is frustrated.
“It’s real frustrating,” he said on Thursday, after his team put out an early-morning fire on Detroit’s southwest side. “We don’t have any money supposedly but you know, it’s these people – how would you like to live in a part of the city where the truck or the pump doesn’t work?” DFD responded to a call near the corner of Fort St. and Campbell around 3:30 a.m. and arrived to see a vacant house engulfed in flames. Detroit Fire Department captain: Our equipment is 'junk' Pay cuts coming to Detroit police, fire officers - Aug. 2, 2013. The 10% cuts apply to 1,200 police lieutenants and sergeants and 400 comparable officers in the fire department.
The cuts, announced this week, will take effect in September.