Enter At Your Own Risk: Police Union Says ‘War-Like’ Detroit Is Unsafe For Visitors
CBS Detroit: The men and women of the Detroit Police Department believe the city is too dangerous to enter, and they want citizens to know it. Detroit Police Officer Association (DPOA) Attorney Donato Iorio said officers held the “Enter At Your Own Risk” rally on Saturday in front of Comerica Park to remind the public that the officers are overworked, understaffed, and at times, fearful for their lives.
“Detroit is America’s most violent city, its homicide rate is the highest in the country and yet the Detroit Police Department is grossly understaffed,” Iorio told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson. “The DPOA believes that there is a war in Detroit, but there should be a war on crime, not a war on its officers.”
Iorio says the once 2,000 strong force is shrinking rapidly; since the start of summer, hundreds of officers have left the department. “These are the men and women who we look to protect us… and police officers can’t protect you if they’re not there. Officers are leaving simply because they can’t afford to stay in Detroit and work 12 hour shifts for what they are getting paid… These police officers are beyond demoralized, these officers are leaving hand over fist because they can no longer afford to stay on the department and protect the public,” he said.
And that’s why Iorio cautions those who enter the city to be wary. “The explosion in violent crime, the incredible spike in the number of homicides and for officers trying to work 12 hours in such deplorable, dangerous and war like conditions is simple untenable,” he said.
Iorio said the department today has less officers than ever, even though crime rates are through the roof. “By denying police officers the appropriate manpower, there’s a manpower crisis right now, there’s 1,000 fewer police officers today than there was 10 years ago, yet the homicide rate is higher. There’s more crime now than before, so if anything you need more officers, not fewer officers,” he said.
According to Wikipedia, the city consistently supports the Democratic Party in state and national elections. According to a study released by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Detroit is the most liberal large city in America. The violent crime rate is one of the highest in the United States. Neighborhoodscout.com reported a crime rate of 62.18 per 1,000 residents for property crimes, and 16.73 per 1,000 for violent crimes (compared to national figures of 32 per 1,000 for property crimes and 5 per 1,000 for violent crime in 2008).
My Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws in the Fifty States gives Michigan a “50″ (based on “0″ in total prohibition to “100″ in total freedom). For the FY 2013 budget, the City of Detroit faces an accumulated $265 million General Fund deficit. The FY 2013 budget reduces police personnel by 355 positions or 11 percent.
How sad and scary would it be to live in Detroit right now? With statistics like this, I won’t be visiting Detroit anytime soon!