Detroit leaders want more police officers living in city - KMSP-TV

Detroit leaders want more police officers living in city

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Roughly 2,300 police officers are in Detroit and, according to police commissioner Donnell White, only 28 percent live in the city.

Michigan's residency law for city workers was repealed in 1999.

The Detroit branch of the NAACP says it's trying to have the residency law put back in place, but many doubt it will ever happen.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan would like to see more police officers living in Detroit and is considering incentives for those willing to move in.

White spoke with Fox 2 Tuesday in his role as the Detroit NAACP Executive Director.

"When you have 70 percent of your officers who don't reside in city, that means they aren't familiar with necessarily the culture (or) the citizens," White said. "And that can have an adverse impact as it relates to interactions with law enforcement on a day-to-day basis."

White says instances of that happening are exceptions and not the norm, the relationship between police departments and the communities they serve are coming being scrutinized after the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri

Here in Detroit, the police department is leaving federal oversight after accusations of using excessive force and illegally detaining suspects.

"We are the model. We are the example that everyone should be following. There have been agencies in the past that have ended their consent decrees with 80 percent, 86 percent compliancy. We're at a 90 percent and 100 percent," says Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody.

Woody says the department has wrapped up community engagement efforts under Chief James Craig and reduced homicides, shootings and robberies.
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