After Mayor Bing cuts police patrols amid spiking violence, he seeks to raise own security detail to 30 officers

Detroit Police
The Detroit Police Department is so understaffed that officers can’t respond to the most serious crimes.

But that hasn’t kept Mayor Bing, who cut nearly 20% of the police budget last year, from asking city council today to increase his tax-funded protection unit from 26 to 30.

On any given night, officers arrive to work with a backlog of cases that would be a priority in most cities. But police, whose wages were cut 10% last year, are overwhelmed with murders, rapes, aggravated assaults and armed robberies.

With 386 murders last year and countless other violent crimes, Forbes magazine named Detroit the “Most Dangerous City in America” for the fourth year in a row.

mayorbingIn October, police took the unprecedented step of warning the public to enter Detroit “at own risk” because of public safety reductions.

On Wednesday, Bing’s administration asked city council for its four police officers, who would be replaced by private security guards.

The council is considering the plan.

If supported by council, Bing would have to get approval from new Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who has the authority to unilaterally reject any spending plan to help reduce a $380 million deficit.

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Steve Neavling, who lives on the city’s east side, is an investigative journalist, a freelance reporter for Reuters and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Neavling explores corruption, Detroit’s unsung heroes and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.