Reinventing Detroit: The Politics of Possibility - Google Books. How corruption deepened Detroit's crisis. DETROIT -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was a spender, a schemer and a liar.
And taxpayers paid for it, by the millions. Over seven years, Kilpatrick's public corruption schemes, lavish lifestyle and ethical missteps cost taxpayers at least $20 million, a tab the financially strapped city was in no position to pick up but did anyway — usually without knowing. On Thursday, Kilpatrick will be sentenced for 24 corruption convictions. 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. 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. But then came the city's bankruptcy, a 10 percent cut in police salaries, followed by support from a most unlikely corner — the bad guys. "When they saw us take a pay cut they were in shock. Detroit police officers have long known adversity: They've worked in crumbling station houses with busted pipes, driven run-down cars, tangled with balky radios. Detroit retirees to see pension cuts starting Monday. City of Detroit retirees covered by the general retirement system are beginning to see pension cuts take effect with their March check.
Retirees reported that they received notices in the mail on Friday. The March checks, as well as paperwork for those who use direct deposit, show that the cuts are taking place now. The March 1 date had been targeted as the time to begin the cuts, though some earlier reports suggested the move might have been delayed until April 1. Following the city's exit out of bankruptcy, retirees who had worked for the water department, bus system and other general city departments, will now see at least a 4.5% cut to their pension checks. A group of retirees who are giving back some interest earned as part of an annuity savings fund, dubbed as a clawback, will see their pension checks reduced by up to 20% each month.
About 1,450 receiving pension checks will receive some assistance via a program for lower-income households. Read or Share this story: Fewest cops are patrolling Detroit streets since 1920s. Detroit — There are fewer police officers patrolling the city than at any time since the 1920s, a manpower shortage that sometimes leaves precincts with only one squad car, posing what some say is a danger to cops and residents.
Detroit has lost nearly half its patrol officers since 2000; ranks have shrunk by 37 percent in the past three years, as officers retired or bolted for other police departments amid the city's bankruptcy and cuts to pay and benefits. Left behind are 1,590 officers — the lowest since Detroit beefed up its police force to battle Prohibition bootleggers.
"This is a crisis, and the dam is going to break," said Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association. Few feel Detroit's struggles like police officers; High crime, poor equipment challenge department. By SHARON COHEN AP National Writer DETROIT (AP) - 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. But then came the city's bankruptcy, a 10 percent cut in police salaries, followed by support from a most unlikely corner - the bad guys. "When they saw us take a pay cut they were in shock. A lack of ambulances continues to impact emergency response in Detroit. Detroit (WXYZ) - "There is no crew available.
" Those are the words firefighters heard from dispatchers when they asked for EMS to respond to a burning home where a woman was trapped. They went inside the smoke filled home, looking for her. When they found her, she wasn't breathing. "We brought her out, started CPR, and waited for the EMS to show up," said Sgt. No money in firefighter fund, despite 2015's passage. STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.
(WJBK) - More than a year after the firefighter's fund was passed by state lawmakers in Lansing, the fund - which was supposed to cover health costs - is empty. 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. Is bankruptcy a good option for Detroit? Detroit plans to sell off closed fire stations. By Bryan Dyne 5 June 2013 Eight vacant buildings once operated by the Detroit Fire Department─seven fire stations and the former firehouse headquarters─are being sold by the city of Detroit to private investors and developers to be transformed into restaurants, wineries or micro-distilleries in an effort to raise money for the city.
The minimum bid for the fire stations are $637,000 while the former headquarters is being sold for $1.25 million. It is not yet clear who has bought the fire stations or for what price, though it is known that Southfield, Michigan developer Walter Cohen has plans to purchase the former headquarters and turn it into a boutique hotel. He plans to have eighty upscale rooms and a Cajun restaurant on the first floor. Cohen has previously been involved in the gentrification of the Park Shelton residential buildings. The stations to be sold include Ladder Nos. 8, 12, 16 and 38 and Engine Nos. 10, 18 and 49. The Vinewood fire station which once housed Engine No. 10.
Detroit Fire Department, already struggling, will have to "do more with less" Detroit's Fire Commissioner says his department is at the end of its resources due to budget cuts.
Donald Austin spoke to a Detroit City Council committee meeting on Monday. Even with the cuts, Detroit’s Police and Fire Departments take up well over half of the city's budget. And both departments regularly go over-budget, mostly because of overtime. Austin says it’s proven almost impossible to cut overtime, when he has to fight so many fires in vacant buildings--which total 30-60% of all department runs, depending on the shift.
Benefits for council staff included in Detroit budget. The Detroit City Council approved the city's $1-billion annual budget today with some changes to Mayor Mike Duggan's original proposal, including an additional $1.5 million allocated to the council and its policy division. The extra money will allow City Council to provide full-time employment and benefits to 69 council staffers. City Council's employees became contractual workers without benefits during the city's bankruptcy proceedings. Councilman Andre Spivey said council staffers without benefits were an exception among city workers, leaving them to pay more for health care.
"We fought for those who needed it," Spivey said. "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. He tells us the Detroit Fire Department was “a bureaucracy that was literally in shambles.” Neavling found that fire hydrants across the city were broken, the firefighters didn’t have purified air in their tanks, their trucks were breaking down, the whole system was a mess. “The city was literally burning down, and we had neighborhoods where houses were going up every night,” he says. Neavling tracked an estimated 3,600 fires in Detroit, which he says is about average for the city. Instead, Neavling says he found the problems stemmed more from “a lack of accountability [and] poor management.” “And he took it on like a calling,” Neavling says. Broken fire hydrants contribute to more Detroit buildings burning. Listen to the story.