Detroit police's nightly obstacles: Dangerous streets, broken equipment, dwindling ranks. Wind whipped through downed windows and the speedometer reached 90 m.p.h. as the police cruiser sped down the interstate.
Weaving through traffic, Detroit Police Officers Derrick Keasley and Darius Shepherd rushed to reach other officers, who were miles away chasing down a suspect in a neighborhood off Van Dyke. It was about 9 p.m. on a warm evening this month as the special operations officers tromped through high grass, then came to a yard, where they handily climbed a rusty chain link fence and landed next to a dilapidated and abandoned building.
This suspect was gone, but the shift was hours from over. Night after night, Detroit police officers are tasked with patrolling one of the most dangerous cities in America. Detroit, which regularly tops FBI lists ranking violent crime, logged 386 homicides in 2012, not including 25 deemed justifiable, officials have said. . ■ Related:Detroit police announce 'Heatwave Initiative' to prevent auto theft, carjackings. 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. “It was out of control when we got here,” Holben said. And from the start – and day-to-day -- his firefighters are playing short-handed. “Half of our sticks don’t work,” he said, noting that the first engine to arrive didn’t have a working aerial hose. It was the second time in a day’s time the crew couldn’t get the engine started and when they finally could, they couldn’t shut it off.
Equipment stolen while Detroit firefighters in action. Robbed and vandalized.
That’s what happened to two Detroit fire trucks overnight while crews were on the job. "It’s disheartening," said Sgt. James Thompson of Engine 41. "You’d hope our work would speak for itself, we don’t know why the people we are trying to help want to hurt us. " Unemployment.
Corruption. ECON / ENGLISH. Detroit Could Lose Firefighters, Police Officers As Cuts Loom Under Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. By Bernie Woodall DETROIT, June 27 (Reuters) - After years of pay cuts and reduction in their ranks, Detroit police officers and firefighters in the next week face a tough decision: Retire now or put their careers in the hands of Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who has the power to unilaterally cut their pay and benefits.
At least several dozen police officers and firefighters will retire early as they try to lock in benefits before Orr imposes new labor contracts, union officials told Reuters. A large flight of veteran public safety workers could cause disruption in a city facing some of the nation's highest violent crime rates and a rash of arson fires. This in turn would raise the level of difficulty for Orr as he seeks to address Detroit's myriad urban problems. Uncertainty over future pay and benefits for the city's 500 mid-level unionized police officers and 917 unionized firefighters is causing some to seek the exit, presidents of the two unions said. 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. For Detroit, a Crisis Born of Bad Decisions and False Hope.
DETROIT — This city was already sinking under hundreds of millions of dollars in bills that it could not pay when a municipal auditor brought in a veteran financial consultant to dig through the books.
A seasoned turnaround man and former actuary with Ford Motor Co., he was stunned by what he found: an additional $7.2 billion in retiree health costs that had never been reported, or even tallied up. “The city must take some drastic steps,” the consultant, John Boyle, warned the City Council in delivering his report at a public meeting in 2005. Among the options he suggested was filing for bankruptcy. “I thought all hell would break loose — I thought the flag would finally be raised,” Mr. 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.
As Detroit breaks down, scourge of arson burns out of control. C4205233512.PDF. Detroit's Staggering Murder And Violent Crime Rate Are 'A Public Health Issue'. Following news that Detroit was exiting bankruptcy and officials talking with optimism about the road ahead, grim new statistics drive home how much there is to do before the city’s future truly appears bright.
Detroit has the highest murder and violent crime rate of any major city in the country, according to the FBI. FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics released Monday show that Detroit logged 316 murders and non-negligent manslaughters last year, with a rate of 45 per 100,000 people. That’s the highest of U.S. cities with more than 200,000 residents and 10 times the national rate. The city also had 14,500 total violent crimes in 2013. The report defines murder and non-negligent manslaughter as the “willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.” However, violent crime is no stranger to residents — and youth — in the Motor City.