16 Detroit Police Officers Leave Shift in Apparent Protest
Detroit— Sixteen Detroit police officers assigned to the afternoon shift at the Northeastern District didn’t complete their shift Friday as a part of an apparent protest over Mayor Dave Bing’s proposed 10 percent pay cuts.
Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said he’s going to have his internal affairs department investigate, but believes it is a “concerted effort isolated to one shift at one district.”
“Resources have been redeployed to plug the gap left in this shift, and all operations are normal,” Godbee said in a written statement Friday night.
Earlier this week, Bing said he’ll push for 10 percent pay cuts across the board for city employees. It was a part of his speech before a live audience Wednesday calling for a plan to fix the city’s budget.
His proposals called for givebacks of $40 million from city workers — including police and fire employees — as well as outsourcing services and major concessions from the city’s unions. The proposal also calls for a hike in the corporate income tax. On Friday, he called for up 1,000 layoffs, but not from police and fire.
Bing spokesman Dan Lijana said the protest was an “isolated incident”.
“DPD is in contact with the union and working within ranks to address it,” Lijana said.
A police union spokesperson couldn’t be reached for comment.
Parts of northeast Detroit are some of the city’s most dangerous. The News reported in September that the 48205 ZIP code, a 6.5-square-mile slice of the city north of Coleman A. Young International Airport roughly bordered by Eight Mile, Hoover, Conner and Kelly, had more shootings and deaths than any other ZIP code in the city. The neighborhood of 44,000 residents accounts for 6 percent of the city’s population, but was home to 15 percent of its murders and 13 percent of its shooting victims.
Christine MacDonald/ The Detroit News