Detroit Police

Stateside
12:29 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

After one year on the job, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the department is turning around

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It has been exactly one year since James Craig returned to his hometown as Detroit’s 42nd police chief. He was hired by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

“The city was not the city I had left,” Chief Craig said.

Chief Craig came back to a city facing bankruptcy - a city with soaring crime rates, response times of 58 minutes, police precincts that were not open to citizens after 4 p.m., and uniformed officers who were demoralized and spread thin working 12 hour shifts.

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Law
7:58 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Report: Detroit's elected leaders need policies for future "non-official" interactions with police

The City of Detroit Office of Inspector General says there is ‘Insufficient evidence” that Councilman George Cushingberry abused his position during a January traffic stop.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s elected leaders are being advised to come up with a policy for how to deal with “non-official” interactions with city police officers, after a stop involving a Detroit city councilman.

Last January, Detroit city councilman George Cushingberry's was stopped by a city police officer.

There was marijuana and an empty alcohol bottle in the car. A passenger in the car was a medical marijuana patient and Cushingberry was not given a sobriety test.

Cushingberry entered a guilty plea in March to driving above the speed limit.

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Opinion
10:48 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Detroit’s comeback needs to include those left behind in the city

For the past year, for the first time in decades, people in the suburbs, in Lansing, and across America are thinking about Detroit.

Everybody has had to face that Detroit is broken, hopelessly in debt, largely a shattered ruin, and that city services, the schools and so much else doesn’t work.

For many years, everyone knew things were bad, but nobody did much about it.

The political class running the city denied the extent of the problem and did not welcome outside intervention. The rest of us mostly said, fine.

Now, however, things are very different.

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Stateside
4:27 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Most of Detroit's abandoned rape kits still haven't been tested

An evidence collection kit.
Credit Office of the Washtenaw County Prosecutor

Five years ago, 11,000 rape kits were discovered abandoned in a Detroit police warehouse. That discovery sparked outrage. 

Since then, only about 2,000 of the kits have undergone DNA testing.

Why? And what's the broader message sent out to victims of rape? Does it make it seem like they don't matter?

Rebecca Campbell is a professor of community psychology and program evaluation at Michigan State University. She was brought on board by the National Institute of Justice to evaluate how these Detroit rape kits were handled. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Opinion
11:29 am
Tue April 15, 2014

This is doing more damage to Detroit than a hundred drug murders could have

By now, millions know the story.

Thirteen days ago, on the east side of Detroit, a ten-year-old boy darted in front of a truck driven by a middle-aged tree trimmer named Steven Utash. He couldn’t help hitting the child, whose leg was broken.

When Utash got out to check on the boy, a mob beat him so severely he nearly died. He was in a medically-induced coma for days, and may end up with permanent brain damage.

All that is horrifying enough, but there is one additional terrible detail which is the main reason the story has gotten national attention.

The tree trimmer was white. His assailants were all black. And I can tell you that this is doing more damage to Detroit than a hundred drug murders could have. This may be more devastating to the city than Kwame Kilpatrick ever was. People are used to crooked politicians of all colors, shapes and sizes. Detroit had white mayors who wound up in prison long before Kilpatrick was born.

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Law
6:51 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Detroit chief: Death threat shows drug trafficking crackdown works

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the crackdown is "having an impact on undermining these criminal organization's revenue streams, so they're angry."
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

DETROIT – Detroit's police chief says a death threat against him on a social media site shows that his department's crackdown on drug trafficking is cutting into the profits of criminals.

James Craig held a news conference Sunday to discuss the threat uncovered Friday. He declines to say where the threat was posted but says it included a photo of a handgun.

The police chief says his department has conducted five large-scale drug sweeps since July as well as an average of 35 drug house raids each week.

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Offbeat
2:13 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Fourth grader sworn in as Detroit Police Chief for the day

Detroit's Police Chief for the day is nine year old Jayvon Felton - a fourth grader who is fighting leukemia, but one day hopes to fight crime as a Detroit Police Officer.

This morning Jayvon made his way to work by helicopter, taking a ride from Coleman A. Young International Airport, over Belle Isle, Comerica Park and the Ambassador Bridge. Upon his arrival, he was greeted by a group of Detroit Police Officers, Felton's classmates from Roberto Clemente Academy, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

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Law
6:00 am
Thu January 23, 2014

New report details 'abusive' surveillance of former Detroit police commissioner

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The former chairman of Detroit’s Police Board of Commissioners was the target of inappropriate surveillance, according to a new report.

The report, from Detroit’s Office of Inspector General, confirms that Jerome Warfield was the subject of police surveillance on “multiple occasions” in early 2013.

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Politics & Government
9:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Detroit police chief issues '2014 Plan of Action'

Chief James Craig (file photo)
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Chief James Craig has placed a 10-percent drop in overall crime, 5-minute response time for priority calls to 911 and more solved homicides among this year's goals for Detroit's police force.

Craig released his 2014 Plan of Action on Thursday and is making it available to residents on the city's website.

The department also will hire 150 new officers by mid-year and deploy detectives in each of the city's 12 police precincts.

Law
5:00 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Police Chief: Detroit crime down in 2013

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s crime rate fell slightly in 2013, according to data released by the city’s police department Thursday.

Detroit recorded 333 criminal homicides last year, down from 386 in 2012.

Non-fatal shootings also declined, though there were still well over 1,100 of them.

Overall, violent crime declined by 7%, and property crime was down by the same amount.

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Stateside
4:42 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Is Detroit's 'stop and frisk' policy unconstitutional?

taliesin Morgue File

A federal judge recently called the New York City police force’s ‘stop and frisk’ practice unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Detroit’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy is based on the same advice of consultants at the Manhattan Institute who advised New York.

Despite the judge’s findings, Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the ‘stop and frisk’ in will continue and that the police in Detroit adhere to the best policing practices as called for under a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has called on the Detroit Police to end the practice. In a three page letter the ACLU called ‘stop and frisk’ a prescription for an avoidable local disaster.

Mark Fancher of the ACLU joined us today. Click on the link above to listen to our conversation with him.

Law
5:48 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Civil rights groups "wave the red flag" about stop-and-frisk in Detroit

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of civil rights groups is concerned about the Detroit Police adopting some controversial tactics.

The department is training officers to perform “stop and frisk” procedures during routine traffic stops.

Police officials call it “proactive policing.” But civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union worry it could cross a constitutional line.

A federal judge recently found a New York City version of that program used racial profiling, and ruled it unconstitutional.

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Politics & Government
7:09 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

$8 million gift nets Detroit new police, EMS vehicles

One of the new Detroit Police cruisers
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit has a substantial number of brand-new police and EMS vehicles—and they come as a donation from the city’s business community.

Some of Detroit’s most prominent business people ponied up $8 million worth of new vehicles to the city through the Downtown Detroit Partnership.

One of the biggest donors—automotive retailer and racing magnate Roger Penske.

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Law
7:46 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Detroit Police look to boost ranks with hiring fair

The Detroit Police Department is looking to boost its ranks.

The department is holding a recruiting fair for the first time in almost decade at its downtown public safety headquarters Saturday.

Police Chief James Craig says when he started the job last month, he found out there was funding to add 60 officers. But there weren’t enough recruits.

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Politics & Government
8:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

In this morning's news: Detroit Police changes, childhood obesity, and custody case

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Detroit Police Department prepares for big changes

Detroit Police Chief James Craig intends to introduce a large departmental reorganization, reports Michigan Radio’s Sara Cwiek.  Craig announced last week that he will restore a version of the department’s gang squad.  Many administrative jobs will be filled by civilians so that more officers can return to field work.

CDC says obesity down among Michigan children

According to a new Center for Disease Control study fewer Michigan children qualify as obese.  Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports that the obesity rate among low-income preschool children dropped from 13.9% in 2008 to 13.2% in 2011.  Michigan ranks fifth in the nation for obesity rates.

Michigan Supreme Court returns custody to foster family

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered that four children be returned to their foster family, reports Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta.  Custody was awarded to their grandmother last year by the Michigan Court of Appeals because state law gives automatic preference to relatives when parental rights are terminated.  The Supreme Court said that the children should be returned to the foster family until it makes a decision whether to hear the appeal.

Politics & Government
8:09 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Detroit Police Chief promises massive reorganization, revives "gang intelligence"

 Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he’s in the midst of a sweeping departmental reorganization.

He’s also thinking about reviving a version of the department’s gang squad. That unit disbanded in March amidst great controversy.

Craig says “it won’t be like the old days,” though. He plans to bring back a highly-specialized Tactical Services Section, which could include a gang intelligence arm.

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Business
5:00 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Detroit program employs off-duty cops to maintain safe neighborhood

Off-duty Detroit Police officers are hired by JEBA for extra security
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The Jefferson Corridor in Detroit is home to the Clean and Safe program.

The program was created in part by the organization formerly known as the Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA). JEBA recently merged with the East Jefferson Corridor Collaboration to form the Jefferson East Inc.

The program is aimed at reducing crime in the Jefferson Corridor by taking advantage of a special program that allows off-duty Detroit police officers to be hired during their off-hours. The officers are armed, uniformed, and use DPD squad cars, at no extra cost to taxpayers. Cops who have seniority and a clean record are eligible. 

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Law
6:24 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Two real cops arrested in Detroit "police impersonation" armed robbery

Two police officers now find themselves on the other side of the law, accused of armed robbery.

A 20-year Detroit police sergeant and a colleague from suburban Saint Clair Shores allegedly used their badges to rob and assault two customers at an east side Detroit gas station earlier this month.

The men pulled in a black pick-up truck equipped with sirens. Guns drawn and badges visible, they detained, searched and allegedly stole items, including cash, from the victims.

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Law
10:30 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Investigations, outrage after Detroit Police arrest news photographer

steve carmody

Detroit and national news media are in an uproar after learning a news photographer was arrested for filming police last week.

Detroit Free Press photographer Mandi Wright was filming police making an arrest on her iPhone last Thursday.

Here's the video:

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Politics & Government
2:29 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Detroit's police, fire dispatch system still not 100%

steve carmody

Police Chief James Craig says Detroit's emergency dispatch system still isn't fully operational after crashing last week.

Fire, police and emergency medical services were not able to use the system for about two hours on July 5.

Some officers used cell phones to contact dispatchers. Calls for service were routed through state police dispatchers. Residents in non-emergencies were told to go to a police station and file a complaint.

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