Detroit council votes not to put public safety millage on ballot - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Detroit council votes not to put public safety millage on ballot

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Over the four day Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, ten people were murdered and another 40 shot.  It was the stuff of international headlines.

This last weekend in Detroit, only three days long with rain, seven were murdered and 32 shot, and Detroit's four times smaller than Chicago.  Not a peep.  It's like the violence is becoming an acceptable way of life here.

Even still, the City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday not to put a public safety millage on the November ballot.  The measure would have funded 500 more cops on the street, but in the end, the City Council savaged Chief Ralph Godbee saying he couldn't manage the police department with the money he has now.

"I am not convinced that our problem is a lack of manpower issue.  I'm convinced that our problem is a lack of an effective management plan issue," said City Council Member Ken Cockrel, Junior.

"Quite frankly, I take great offense to any assertion that we're not managing our resources well, efficiently, nor deploying them," Godbee retorted.  "At some point you can't put lipstick on a pig, and the citizens' reality on the street is they know what they see, and what they don't see are uniformed marked patrol scout cars in visible spaces."

We asked Godbee whether he is angry at the way he was characterized running the department?

"I take it very personally.  I mean, my officers put their lives on the line every day.  We're doing more with less."

"With the consent agreement, the chief now has the ability to impose work rule changes on the contract, and so let's give that an opportunity to work.  He needs to reorganize the police department and deliver services before asking taxpayers to pay more money," said City Council President Pro-tem Gary Brown.

Godbee also told us that cutting the cops isn't going to make the crime problem better, and besides we've got deep, deep issues -- equipment, 911, overcrowded jails, overcrowded courts.  It's about time some men and women sat down in a room and started figuring this thing out.

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