DPOA: State treasurer issues threat to Detroit police officers - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DPOA: State treasurer issues threat to Detroit police officers

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Detroit Police Officers Association President Joe Duncan (Credit: WJBK) Detroit Police Officers Association President Joe Duncan (Credit: WJBK)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit Police officers claim they're being threatened by state Treasurer Andy Dillon, and they're ready to fight back.

A meeting Friday was for the DPOA to present another way to make cuts within the police department without having to cut officers' salaries, but we're told the meeting with the state didn't get that far. Tensions flared and now police say their First Amendment rights were trampled.

"My grandmother looked me in the eyes yesterday and said, 'Man, you look real tired.' I said, 'Yeah, I'm on them 12 hours.' She (is) wondering why I don't come around as much," said one Detroit Police officer. "I'm tired right now. I'm tired. They don't want you to fall asleep, but you get tired."

Patrolmen don't usually speak to the media, but fed up with pay cuts and exhausted by the new 12 hour shifts, officers are speaking up and speaking out, and they say there is only one way to describe a day on Detroit's crime beat -- "very, very long".

"7 to 7 is starting to take a tole on everybody," another officer said. "You're just fatigued. You're not as fresh. You're not as alert, but you want to be alert."

Police are appealing the imposed pay cuts and changes to work rules, but now the Detroit Police Officers Association is gearing up for another legal battle against Dillon, who allegedly threatened Detroit police officers in that Friday arbitration session.

"We will not be bullied. We will not be threatened. We will continue this fight," said Joe Duncan, president of DPOA.

He said Dillon suggested Detroit officers should just be happy to even have jobs and if litigation over pay cuts continues, the city would retaliate with another 10 percent pay cut to police.

However, Andy Dillon told Fox 2 that's just not true.

"I don't recall that as being part of the conversation," he said. "I'm not aware of any more asked of the police department."

"The 10 percent cut, and I feel bad about that, as I said before, Detroit police are not overpaid, but the city's only got so much money, so it is what it is."

Duncan vows to protect the officers' First Amendment rights, even if it means taking the state treasurer to federal court. However, if you think police officers' outrage is limited to Andy Dillon, just listen to Duncan's response when asked if Mayor Bing could ride along with police to experience a 12 hour day.

"I could not vouch for the safety of the mayor in a patrol car with one of my members. That's how angry they are."

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