LeDuff: Detroit public safety still facing extreme cuts - KMSP-TV

LeDuff: Detroit public safety still facing extreme cuts despite grant

Posted: Updated:
Detroit Police Officer Kendra Coleman told Charlie LeDuff about her job expectations.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Detroit Police Officer Kendra Coleman told Charlie LeDuff about her job expectations. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The good news: The federal government comes through with a $22-million grant restoring 108 of the 164 Detroit firefighters laid off earlier this week.  The bad news: Public safety in the city is still facing extreme cuts with no plan to make things better.

Detroit Police officer Christine Thomas and her partner helped bring little Siri into the world late Saturday night when they saw her mother laboring on the side of a Detroit road.

"That night I would've been in serious trouble, I believe, had they not been there for me," said Kendra Coleman.

"She looks wonderful.  I'm glad that I was right there," said Thomas.

But now with impending cuts to public safety, children like Siri may not be so lucky.

"We have to do more work even with lower pay because we're being told that we got to ride the buses to keep the bus drivers safe.  We got to look at the party stores and the gas stations, plus answer runs, so we don't have time to investigate anything.  We have to just do reports, be secretaries on the street," Thomas said.

Now the drastic budget cuts are supposed to take effect on Sunday, except the police union has it tied up temporarily in court.  If they do go through, here is what you can expect.  The police will show up to work and do it by the book.  That means if a guy's got a suspended license, he's going to be arrested, brought to the precinct and processed.  That takes three hours.  That means there will be no police patrolling the streets.  How's that supposed to work?

"You can't cut your way out of this problem.  First of all, you've got to improve city services.  That's the goal, right?  And Dave Bing took office saying that's what he wanted to do, but the way to do that is to get these efficiencies, stop paying for things that we can't afford and start paying for the things we're supposed to do, and he hasn't done it," said Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson.

"There's no plan.  It's crisis management.  Whatever pops up we're going to deal with today," said DFFA President Dan McNamara.

"We need more officers, not less officers.  People need help out here," Coleman said.

Who's in charge of public safety in Detroit?  Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis.  I wanted to ask him who is making all these decisions, but I couldn't get a hold of him.  I will, though, I promise, because it's a matter of life and death.

  • Charlie LeDuffCharlie LeDuffMore>>

  • Court: Ex-judge Wade McCree immune from civil suit

    Court: Ex-judge Wade McCree immune from civil suit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:04:29 GMT
    The infamous selfie taken by Judge Wade mcCree. The infamous selfie taken by Judge Wade mcCree.
    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
  • LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

    LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like NYC or LA.
    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like Los Angeles., Washington, D.C. or New York.  If you live in New Jersey, you're in the shadow of the Big Apple.
  • Ground Zero of the North Dakota Oil Boom

    Ground Zero of the North Dakota Oil Boom

    Friday, March 7 2014 12:11 PM EST2014-03-07 17:11:13 GMT
    In another installment of The Americans with Charlie LeDuff, Charlie and his crew head to Williston, North Dakota, where the oil boom is making the small town the epicenter of opportunity and big city problems.
    Tens of thousands of Americans are drifting into places like Williston, North Dakota where the oil boom is making the small town the epicenter of opportunity.

    If you're willing to work 100 hours a week you could make $100,000 in a year.  Along with opportunity there are problems and a changing landscape to small town life that's as harsh as winter on the northern planes.
  • Charlie LeDuff: Off The ChainCharlie LeDuff: Off The ChainMore>>

  • Sayonara Bingaling

    Sayonara Bingaling

    Friday, December 13 2013 7:35 PM EST2013-12-14 00:35:18 GMT
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
  • LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:57 PM EST2013-12-04 00:57:27 GMT
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
  • Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Friday, November 8 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-11-08 23:12:53 GMT
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary:a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary: a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:05 GMT
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:09:47 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Firefighter injured battling house fire in Detroit

    Firefighter injured battling house fire in Detroit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:06:52 GMT
    A possible arson kept Detroit firefighters busy for much of the evening.
    A possible arson kept Detroit firefighters busy for much of the evening.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices