What’s a typical day in the life of a police officer on New Year’s eve?
We sought to find out in the final hours of 2013, monitoring every dispatched call from 8 p.m. to midnight.
An officer tended to a baby who had eaten rat poison in a second-floor apartment; three people were stabbed and another two were carjacked. A frightened 8-year-old told a 911 operator that he believed his mom was shot and killed on the 1800 block of Ardmore.
In those four hours, police responded to 21 assaults, a kidnapping, the discovery of a body, three breaking-and-enterings and 15 reports of gunshots. Suspects led police on three pursuits.
But not all news was bad. Police said the 1-year-old boy who was eating rat poison was rushed to the hospital and turned out to be OK.
“The young boy was alert and breathing” when police and EMS arrived, Sgt. Michael Woody told us. “He was conveyed to the hospital for treatment and returned home with his family. It does not appear that there was any abuse or neglect.”
Detroit ended the year with a reduction in violent crime, which follows the national trend. There were 333 murders in 2013, down from 386 in 2012.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said today there’s still a lot of work to do in 2014.
“We’re trending in the right direction, but we still have work to do,” Craig said.
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.