Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Thoughts on the Detroit Police Department

In response to the news about Police Office Brian Huff being killed in the line of duty over on the east side of Detroit yesterday, David L. Malhalab wrote a lengthy piece in the comment section. I feel that it's worth a lot more prominence and discussion. Therefore, I'm giving his remarks their own post, which begins below with only minimal editing from me.

I have a vision for what I would like the Detroit Police Department to be. As for the details of how that is accomplished, my inclination is always to allow experienced professionals lead the way. That's why I'm excited to have a retired police sergeant share his thoughts.

I invite everyone to share their own thoughts as well. Your comments, as always, are appreciated.

Detroit Needs an All Out War on Crime

The death of Detroit Police Officer Brian Huff and wounding of four other officers should be the last straw, the final spark that will get powerful Detroit black ministers off their bibles and get them onto their pulpits and pounding them and telling their members that it is alright to call police and "turn in" a murderer, robber, rapist, drug house, drug pusher, a B&E man/team, or car thieves.

Mayor Dave Bing, at every Detroit church, must also get up and declare that the police are not an occupying army or an army of oppressors; that residents should not fear police officers who are trying to protect them from the criminals who have no concern for Detroit or its residents. We must change the culture in Detroit that makes residents accept crime and fear the police.

The Mayor should tell Ron Scott to shut up - and not to denigrate officers and to cooperate with the police department to make it better - not to help spread the fear and suspicion about police officers. The Board of Police Commissioners must be more visible and active in making the Department better and accepted by the residents.

The ministers, Mayor and City Council member should commit themselves to making crime - the number one concern that needs to be solved - and make public safety Detroit's No. 1 problem.

Former Chief of Police Ella Bully Cummings should be held accountable for this officers death - you can't arrest criminals when there is not enough jail space to put them in (she closed 1/2 of the jail cells in Detroit). Cummings created a now failed Reorganization Plan, failed to supervise the progress of the DOJ decrees, and violated EEOC laws. Cummings failed police officers and residents of Detroit, and the problems she created have not been solved.

Mayor Bing and the City Council must seek federal grants to get Detroit Police - state of the are equipment, hire and train more officers and to make DPD the best police department in the country. This can't be done just at the city level - it will also take a commitment from the State and Federal governments.

I have always offered to be a resource...and spoken out about the problems and solutions that are needed to make the DPD better - hopefully someone will begin to listen now.

The news media must take an active role in examining bad policies and the lack of progress and why problems remain unsolved year after year. (Crisnet / lack of jail space-medical facility/ lack of facilities and equipment/ lack of quality leadership - just a few)

David L. Malhalab
Sgt DPD Retired
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