Ralph Godbee, Jr., chief of the Detroit Police Department, spoke at the commencement ceremony at Rutgers University in New Jersey this morning. In a prepared statement, Todd Clear, dean of School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers, called Chief Godbee "a visionary in urban policing."
Let's review Chief Godbee's track record to-date:
- The Detroit Police Department's response time for priority calls is not only the worst in the nation, it is 113% worse today than when he came into office almost two years ago. This is in spite of the fact that it was steadily improving under his predecessor;
- Detroit's homicide rate is at an all-time high in spite of the fact that it was dropping under his predecessor;
- Badly needed new patrol cars sat idle under his watch for weeks while Detroit police officers were forced to use ones that were simply broken down; and
- The Detroit Police Department continued to waste millions of tax dollars on outdated leases for cars.
I believe that calling Chief Godbee "a visionary in urban policing" is the equivalent of calling Tonya Thomas a visionary in effective parenting. The simple fact that he wears a badge is nothing less than an insult to every person who takes the phrase "to protect and serve" seriously.