Detroit police chief: "They did not invest in public safety" - KMSP-TV

Detroit police chief: "They did not invest in public safety"

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Chief James Craig after testifying Friday in the Detroit bankruptcy trial Chief James Craig after testifying Friday in the Detroit bankruptcy trial
(WJBK) -

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit's new police chief says the city's financial woes have hobbled his department and threatened the safety of officers, residents and visitors.

"If you think my testimony is a scare tactic why don't' we go out and conduct a survey of the people who live, work and play in the city of Detroit. Don't listen to me - I can't make this up. This is something that the community tells me and that I've seen with my own eyes," Craig tells Fox 2's Charlie Langton.

James Craig testified Friday during a trial to determine whether the city is eligible to fix its finances in bankruptcy court that he has found "deplorable conditions" of facilities and equipment. He started his job in July - the same month the city filed for bankruptcy.

Craig, who has worked for several law enforcement agencies nationwide, says department morale is lower than anywhere else he's worked. That includes when he worked as an officer in Detroit in the 1970s.

"Let's face it, and those who are listening, they did not invest in public safety," Craig says.

He says officers blame pay cuts and 12-hour shifts brought on by money problems.

The trial determining bankruptcy eligibility is in its third day and continues next week.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more about Friday's testimony in court

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