Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cool Warrendale Thing: Warrendale Cover Photos

As the folks at Facebook continue to roll out their new layout, two things are obvious. First, we will all hear a cacophony of complaints about who the new Facebook looks a lot like the old MySpace. Second, there's very little that anyone who isn't named Mark Zuckerberg can do about this except make the best of it.

With that in mind, I offer two new photos featuring the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit that are configured to be cover photos on Facebook. Blogger re-sizes the photos to show it here. However, if you click on the photo then you will be able to see it in its original size. Then simply right-click to save it, you should be able to use it as your Facebook cover photo.

My first photo features Rouge Park. It was taken at the top of Derby Hill, looking down during a rather foggy autumn day.

Rouge Park - Ready to Be Your Facebook Cover Photo

My second photo features the legendary Tipperary Pub - which was on the Southfield Freeway service drive, just north of Tireman. This bar has since closed - and many of us are still mourning our loss - but one car remember it here.

Tipperary Pub - Ready to Be Your Facebook Cover Photo
Being able to make Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood your Facebook cover photo is the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week for this week.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Detroit Has A Serial Killer

Detroit has many problems, but it would appear that we can now add one more to the mix. There is a serial killer operating in the east side of the city; one who targets female escorts that he meets through an internet ad service,

Police Chief Ralph Godbee said in a statement that he is stopping short of calling this a serial killing spree. However, since a serial killer is generally defined as someone who kills two or more victims in two or more separate incidents, and since we now have at least four victims within a week, I believe its safe to refer to this individual as a serial killer.

Since its no secret that the investigative resources of the Detroit Police Department have been strained from  attempts by Chief Godbee and Mayor Dave Bing to preserve the high ratio of police officers assigned to politically desirable administrative positions, I certainly hope that they do not compound this error by hesitating to call in state and federal agencies for assistance with this. Stopping the Back Page Killer is simply too high of an importance for us not to take this seriously and bring every resource to bear.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Thought for the Day

As I was out walking through the Warrendale neighborhood this afternoon, I though about the Christmas light displays that I had posted about so many times on this blog and, in particular, what it was about them that I liked so much.

More than anything, I finally realized, what I like about Christmas lights is that they give a sense of normalcy in a world that has become incredibly abnormal.

We in Detroit have a local government that is, even on its best days, completely useless and appears to be getting worse.

The local economy is a disaster.

Each of these things presents a challenge for those of us who care deeply about our community. It is something that we need to work through. However, all of this can be incredibly tiring and frustrating.

In those moments when I simply feel like giving up and putting a hex on those who convinced me not to leave this town years ago, the normalcy of Christmas lights provide a reprieve. They are a moment when everything seems to be alright; a much needed sense that our world has not gone to hell just yet.

Moments like those, no matter how fleeting they might be, give me the strength to continue on and to try one more thing to improve our community. Lights in the darkness can be extremely comforting, especially when they are put there by my friends and neighbors.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gov. Snyder Discusses Detroit's Financial Condition

Governor Rick Snyder released a YouTube video yesterday in which he discussed his thoughts on Detroit's financial problems. It's quite clear that he is not enthusiastic about the idea of appointing an emergency manager for Detroit.

I, personally, have an enormous amount of skepticism as to whether or not he'll be able to avoid it. He will almost certainly have to do in the weeks and months to come. However, it's actually nice to know that Governor Snyder isn't rushing into it.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

What's Wrong With the Detroit Police Department?

John K. Bennett of posted a question on Facebook earlier today. I wanted to share his question, which I quote below, as well as my answer.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on Mr. Bennett's question by leaving a comment below.
I'm writing a new story for HuffPost Detroit and I need your input. What's wrong with the Detroit Police Department? How come we keep coming up short of late in solving high profile crimes? Do we have the proper direction? Is it leadership? Are we too soft? What can be done to make the police department more efficient and more effective? How do we get the most qualified people in charge? Are you satisfied with the current leadership of the police department?

In my opinion, the problem with the Detroit Police Department is that we have too many deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs (roughly double what any any city our size would have); we spend a ridiculous amount on administration (set a copy of the budgets from Atlanta, Columbus, Denver, Indianapolis, or Milwaukee Police Departments next to DPDs and you'll be blown away by the differences); and finally - because of those first 2 items - we short-change our front line operations.

Because we short-change our front line operations (e.g., not enough officers/detectives, not enough squad cars and equipment, minimal forensics, etc.), DPD isn't able to solve high-profile crimes or even most low-profile ones, for that matter.

As far as leadership goes, I approach the subject of leadership with a military background. In the military, there is a concept called Command Responsibility. Simply put, it means that if you are in command then you are responsible for anything - and I do mean anything - that goes wrong on your watch. Period.

In my life, I've seen a lot of things go wrong in cases where DPD was on the scene or should have been there. From the Malice Green beating to two 12 year boys who were killed in their own home on Mansfield a few blocks from me to the little girl who was killed during a SWAT raid, there have been instances where something went fundamentally wrong.

However, I have never once seen a command level officer within DPD stand up and publicly accept responsibility for whatever it was that went wrong. In the most fundamental terms, there simply is no leadership within DPD. There are just some guys in fancy uniforms with a big paycheck.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

71-Year-Old Warrendale Resident Goes Missing

Margaret Theut, who has lived on Patton Street in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood for decades, has been missing for almost a week and foul play is suspected. She was last seen leaving church services last weekend.

Anyone who has any information regarding the disappearance, or current location, of Ms. Theut is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department immediately.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flooding at the Southfield Freeway

A portion of the Southfield Freeway flooded recently because of the tremendous amount of rain that Detroit has received over the past couple of days.

Lance Rosol of Pixel Perfect Photography managed to snap this photograph of what is now the Southfield River. It shows the Southfield Freeway, near Outer Drive, which is approximately 4 miles south of the Warrendale neighborhood.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Detroit Police Response Time: Now 113% Worse

Warren Evans
A little over a year ago, when Warren Evans was chief of police, the Detroit Police Department had a 24 minute response time for priority one calls. More importantly, their response time had improved by 29% from where it was a year earlier.

Now, however, things are different.

Warren Evans has been replaced as chief of police by Ralph Godbee. Chief Godbee is a fine individual, but he is someone who has spent almost his entire career in administrative posts within the department as opposed to being on the front lines fighting crime on a daily basis.

I tried not to hold Chief Godbee's lack of operational experience against him. However, it is becoming clear that he is simply not up to the task of leading one of the largest police departments in the nation.

Even though the department's budget is just as large, the Detroit Police Department's response time has now climbed to an average of almost 52 minutes, according to statistics released by the City of Detroit.

52 minutes.

Protecting and Serving - in 52 Minutes
The national average for police response time in major cities, by the way, is only 7 minutes. A review of police statistics shows that the Detroit Police Department currently has the largest budget of any police department in North America on a per resident basis as well as the worst response time of any urban police department in the industrialized world.

At 52 minutes, this means that the Detroit Police Department's response time is 113% worse than it was when Warren Evans was chief of police. That is a dramatic change for the worse in such a short time period.

To say that this is unacceptable does a disservice to the word "unacceptable." If the safety of Detroiters were truly a priority for Mayor Dave Bing, he would demand immediate changes within the leadership of the Detroit Police Department.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warren Avenue Community Organization

Please join the Warren Avenue Community Organization on Thursday, November 17 6 - 7:30 p.m. at NFL YET Boy's and Girls Club (16500 Tireman). Please enter via the east entrance to the building.

This is a very important meeting. They will nominate and elect officers for the 2012 - 2014 term.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Obama Gas Station + Henry Ford's Grave

I was do some field research for a client today and took my camera along with me to show a few off the beaten path things about the Warrendale area of Detroit.
  • Brennan Pools;
  • Henry Ford's grave; and
  • The Barack Obama gas station.
Detroit is always full of surprises. This collection of oddities from around the neighborhood is your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mayor Bing to Discuss Bus Crisis at 5 p.m.

Mayor Bing to Talk About Bus Service
Mayor Dave Bing will hold a press conference regarding the on-going problems with DDOT bus service at 5 p.m. today. The Mayor has faced harsh criticism from the City Council and others over the fact that many city buses are routinely late, sometimes up to three hours behind schedule.

Needless to say, I will likely have much to say about this issue once his press conference is over.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joy Road - The Movie

Since Joy Road is the northern boundary of the Warrendale neighborhood, I was intrigued to find out that there is a new movie debuting soon entitled Joy Road.

Joy Road is set in modern day Detroit. Most of the locations for the film were on location here in Detroit. This movie tells the story of a public defender who has to defend his sister's boyfriend, the reputed leader of the notorious MVP gang.

This movie is just something for Detroit. It has a national audience having been named "Best Narrative Film" at the Hamptons Black International Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the American Black Film Festival and the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival.

Personally, I think it's great some artists from Detroit have managed to complete a project like this. I'm excited to see what happens with it, how Joy Road will be received by audiences and critics, and how far they will be able to go with this.

Most of all, I hope that the filmmakers will be able to make a sequence or a television series for Joy Road. I wish everyone who is involved in this project nothing but the best.

The official trailer for this film is on YouTube and is embedded above. The filmmakers also have a Facebook page for their project here. Joy Road will premiere at the AMC Star Southfield (25333 West 12 Mile Rd. in Southfield) on October 20. I hope to see a lot of neighbors and friends at the theater.

Featured Business: Pizza & Fish Express

Pizza & Fish Express (6540 Evergreen) opened earlier this week, taking over in place of the short lived Pizza - A - Go-Go. Hasan Harb is the owner of the newest Warrendale eatery, which also features a mini-mart.

Pizza & Fish Express - Photo credit: David L. Malhalab (MNS Photo)

Pizza & Fish is offering great take out food and mini mart. They hope to have a long relationship with the Warrendale neighborhood. Mr. Harb and his family own other Pizza & Fish outlets in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, and Kalamazoo.

Pizza & Fish is the Featured Business for this week. I think it great that the Warrendale neighborhood can attract a replacement business to that location as quickly as we did.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Register to Vote. Today

Vince Keenan from would like to remind everyone that today is the deadline to register to vote in Michigan. His full post about why it is so important for everyone in Detroit to be registered is available here.

I just want to say that I agree with every single word in Vince's post.

Friday, October 07, 2011

New Recreation Center to Open in Warrendale Park

Construction Continues on Recreation Center in Warrendale Park

The frame work for the new Wayne County Hype Recreation Center is up and work is continuing. This new center is being built in the Warrendale Recreation Area, which is ironically just outside of the Warrendale neighborhood. It's on W. Warren Avenue, just west of Ann Arbor Trail, in Dearborn Heights.

The Hype Center will offer youth athletic programs as well as tutoring and mentorship. It will also offer substance abuse prevention, leadership and entrepreneurial training and support, food bank / nutritional center, vocational / literacy center, senior activities center, youth education center as well as a healthy living center. The building will contain 110,000 square feet of space on two floors with a 1/8 mile indoor running track, five full basketball courts and a 5,000 sq ft weight training center.

Thank you to David Malhalab and the MNS News Services for sharing this with me.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Southfield Freeway Re-Opens & Electric Cars Get Charged

The Southfield Freeway (M-39) opened all lanes of traffic early this morning after being closed for several months. The months of road construction are now completed.

I also showcase an opportunity for re-charging an electric car that's not in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, but is still cool.

Friday, September 30, 2011

18 Individuals Face Drug Charges

An indictment charging eighteen defendants with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana has been unsealed, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced yesterday. Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Robert Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Chief Ralph Godbee, Detroit Police Department.

This indictment charges eighteen defendants with conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Detroit over the past eleven years. All eighteen are alleged to be members of a national drug trafficking organization.

The eighteen defendants named in this indictment are:

  • Shaun Devon Askew, a/k/a “Dot,” 28, of Detroit;
  • Terrell Raynard Clark, 23, of Detroit
  • Anthony Bernarde Edwards, a/k/a “Ant” and “Mick,” 40, of Southfield;
  • Erika Royce Flowers, a/k/a “E,” 29, of Detroit;
  • Thebera Shlanda Flowers, 47, of Detroit;
  • Geoffrey Lamar Hightower, a/k/a “Chief,” 40, of Wayne;
  • Carl Lee Jones, a/k/a “Pookie,” 30, of Farmington Hills;
  • John Lighting, III, a/k/a “J-Rock,” 29, of Detroit;
  • Malcolm Martines Long, a/k/a “Black,” 38, of Macomb Township;
  • Terrence Lynn Pritchett, a/k/a “Cowboy” and “C-Bo,” 40, of Detroit;
  • Johnny Richards, Jr., 43, of Roseville;
  • Isaac Johnson Sheppard, 30, of Detroit;
  • Daryl Keith Sewell, a/k/a “D-Nice,” 43, of Arizona;
  • Kendrah Smartt, a/k/a “Old Girl,” 46, of Colorado;
  • Dennis Cornelius Tate, a/k/a “Deezy” and “Terrence,” 36, of Belleville;
  • Jaami Townsend, a/k/a “Jam,” 33, of Plymouth;
  • Clarence Williamson, Jr., a/k/a “Dawg” and “Junior,” 48, of Southfield; and
  • Denise Darrine Williamson, a/k/a “Neecey,” 42, of Detroit;.

Mr. Sheppard is in custody in Detroit, while Ms. Smartt is in custody in Nebraska.

“We need to find new ways to address gun, drug, and violent crimes,” Ms. McQuade said. “Our law enforcement agencies are working together to use our resources in strategic ways.”

“The FBI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners, particularly through our Violent Gang Task Force, and working with prosecutors to aggressively investigate drug dealing organizations,” Mr. Arena explained.

Mr. Corso added, “The arrests that stemmed from this investigation are strong examples of the positive results that can be achieved when state, local and federal law enforcement agencies work together to fight drug trafficking. The DEA will continue to work with our partners to make our community safer by focusing on dismantling violent drug organizations.”

The most serious charge in the indictment, conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, carries a penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment.

An indictment is a charging document and not evidence of guilt. Each and every defendant is presumed to be innocent. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Portelli.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Traffic Detours for the Southfield Freeway

Construction Continues on the Southfield Freeway
From Friday, September 23 at 9 p.m. until Monday, September 26 at 5 a.m., the Southfield Freeway (M-39) will be closed in both directions between Ford Rd. (M-153) and Grand River Ave. (M-5). In addition, the eastbound and westbound I-96 ramps to northbound Southfield Fwy., and the Grand River entrance ramp to southbound Southfield Fwy. will be closed.

The Michigan Department of Transportation suggests a northbound detour by taking westbound Ford Rd. to northbound Telegraph Rd (US-24) to eastbound I-696 to Southfield Rd. 

The suggested southbound detour is to take southbound M-10 to westbound Eight Mile Rd. (M-102) to southbound Telegraph Rd. to eastbound Ford Rd. to the Southfield Freeway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Former Detroit Public Schools Official Sentenced for Accepting Bribes

A former Detroit Public Schools official who accepted kickbacks for authorizing payments to a vendor who submitted $3.32 million in fraudulent invoices was sentenced yesterday to 60 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution to the Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. She was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez of  the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

Stephen A. Hill, age 60 of Detroit and a former executive director of the DPS Risk Management Department, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman. Judge Borman also ordered that Mr. Hill pay DPS $3.32 million in restitution.

Sherry Washington, who was convicted as charged of program fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy after a two-week jury trial in June.

Mr. Hill testified that he awarded the DPS wellness plan to a firm with no competitive bidding and with no written contract. He also testified that Sherry Washington proposed the cash kickback to him and later delivered bags of cash to him in private locations, including the parking structure of the Detroit Athletic Club.

Following an investigation by the IRS and FBI, an indictment charging nine people was returned. One defendant, DPS employee Christina Polk-Osumah, died of natural causes after indictment. All of the other seven defendants in the case were convicted as well; six pleaded guilty and local art gallery owner Sherry Washington was convicted after a jury trial and will be sentenced October 20, 2011. Co-defendant Gwendolyn Washington will be sentenced on October 5, 2011.

Other defendants sentenced in this case include:

  • Marilyn White received a sentence of 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to DPS in the amount of $3.322 million;
  • Valerie Polk received a sentence of 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to DPS in the amount of $347,746;
  • Thomas Taylor received a sentence of one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $440,928;
  • Sally Jo Bond received a sentence of 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to DPS in the amount of $3.322 million; and
  • Duane Polk received a sentence of 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to DPS in the amount of $788,674.
Ms. McQuade said in a prepared statement, “We are committed to rooting out public corruption wherever it occurs, but a breach of trust in our schools is particularly offensive. These defendants stole funds intended to benefit school children.”

Mr. Hill pleaded guilty on May 2 to one count of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, and one count of conspiracy to commit program fraud. The offenses arose from Hill’s involvement in a scheme to honor fraudulent million dollar invoices submitted by a group called Associates for Learning for implementation of a wellness plan for DPS employees. He accepted a 5% percent cash kickback for approving wire transfer payments upon receipt of the fraudulent invoices.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Search is On for Detroit's Christmas Tree

The Detroit 300 Conservancy is launching a statewide search for the star of the Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony at Campus Martius Park (800 Woodward Ave. in downtown Detroit). They are looking for a 50-60 foot tall spruce tree, beautifully proportioned and Michigan grown. The winning nomination will crown Campus Martius Park November through early January, welcoming Santa Claus at the America’s Thanksgiving Parade, plus tens of thousands of park-goers and passersby throughout the holiday season.

The winning tree will be placed in Detroit’s award-winning and internationally-acclaimed Campus Martius Park, at the majestic Woodward Fountain and adjacent to the popular Ice Rink. Continuing what The Detroit Free Press has called a “Great New Detroit Family Tradition,” the tree will be lit in a spectacular ceremony on November 18. The family or individual that donates the tree will receive VIP-guest treatment, including a complimentary stay at the Westin Book Cadillac, and public recognition during the Tree Lighting ceremony.

The Conservancy will only accept entries that meet the following specifications:

  • The tree must be a Norway Spruce and stand between 50-60 feet tall, with a 25-30 foot base measured branch to branch;
  • The tree should be well branched and symmetrical, and easily accessible from the road with no interference from overhead utility lines; and
  • The tree must be a donation and available at no cost.

This year marks the eighth year that the Conservancy has partnered with the City of Detroit, DTE Energy and other downtown Detroit companies to bring a Christmas tree and related festivities to Campus Martius Park. The deadline to enter a tree for consideration is Sept. 19. Those wishing to enter a tree for consideration should include their name, telephone number and a photograph of the tree with information about its size and location to or by mail to:

Detroit Tree Lighting
Detroit 300 Conservancy
1 Campus Martius, 3 W
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Clean Up on Westwood

The Westwood Street Block Club will have a clean up this coming Saturday, August 27. Everyone who is willing to help is asked to meet at the vacant lot that's about halfway between W. Warren Ave. and Sawyer Street at 10 a.m. (Google Maps says that its approximate address is 7540 Westwood, but that could be off.)

I have to be at work in Ypsilanti at 11 a.m. this Saturday. Otherwise, I'd join them.

Regardless, I hope lots of other people turn out for this.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bad Ass Ship Gets Bad Ass Name

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced this past Friday that the U.S. Navy's newest warship will be named the USS Detroit. This will be a 378 foot long Freedom class littoral coast ship, which means that it is designed for combat operations close to shore.

The USS Detroit will unquestionably be one of the bad ass ships along hostile shores. It's only appropriate then that it have a suitably bad ass name.

Freedom Class Warship in the U.S. Navy

The USS Detroit is still being built at the Marinette Marine facility in Wisconsin. Once it is officially christened, however, I believe it would only be appropriate for this ship to sail off to its first duty with "American Bad Ass" by Detroit's own Kid Rock blaring from its public address system.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Detroit Police Close the 6th and 8th Precincts

The Detroit Police Department’s 6th and 8th Precincts, which serves the Warrendale neighborhood and is located at 11450 Warwick, will not be open to the public until further notice.  Because of a malfunction of the heating and ventilation system, citizens are encouraged to go or call one of the following precincts for assistance, such as filing reports:
Persons arrested within the 6th and 8th Precincts boundaries will be conveyed to the Southwestern District, which is at 13530 Lesure | (313) 596-5200.

Persons can call the 6th and 8th Precincts Investigative Operations regarding their open cases at (313) 596-5640.

Persons who wish to file a police report (e.g., breaking and entering of a residence or business that is not in progress, telephone threats, identify theft, larcenies of a motor vehicle or private property, abandoned vehicles) by telephone, can call the Telephone Crime Reporting Unit at (313) 267-2600, Monday – Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Detroit Police Department - Money Without Results

I have long been curious about how the Detroit Police Department's budget stacks up against other departments in cities our size. Therefore, I decided to spend some time going through data from the U.S. Census Bureau and cross-referencing it with budget data from the City of Detroit as well as other cities of similar size to Detroit.

Specifically, I looked at cities with a population that is less than 1 million but more than 500,000.  There are twenty six communities in the United States that meet this criteria, including Detroit. The results were  somewhat surprising.

The bottom line is the Detroit Police Department has a budget that is 32.2% above average on a per resident basis.  In spite of this, our police response time and case closure rates are well below average.  This is in spite of the fact that Detroit also a population density that is 32.4% higher than average.

There are reasons commonly given as for why the Detroit Police Department has the problems that it does:
  • Some blame it on Detroit's low population density;
  • Others argue that the Detroit Police Department isn't given the resources that it needs.
In my opinion, this data refutes both arguments. Our police department has a greater than average budget while our city, as a whole, as an above average amount of density.

I believe that we, as a community, need to take a very close look at the money that we are spending on DPD and what it is spent on. I have a few examples to illustrate this point.

In most cities, the Office of the Chief of Police consists of a chief, a deputy chief, a secretary, and a couple of assistants.  In Detroit, however, the Office of the Chief consists of fifteen people with a budget of $2.6 million.

If we simply brought the budget for the Office of the Chief in line with national averages, that would be enough money to put an additional three dozen police officers on the streets.

We also have seven assistant and deputy chiefs of police that have their own "office of" staff.  Between them, they cost us almost $12 million.  If we bring this in line with national averages, it would save enough money to put approximately additional four hundred police officers on the streets.

There are also areas where job duties seem to overlap.  We have an Assistant Chief - Administration as well as a Deputy Chief - Management Services Bureau.  Both are responsible for back-office operations - such as payroll, grant management, and so on - but they're separate entities within DPD.  This hardly seems efficient.

In my opinion, having a budget for the police department that is 32.2% higher than national averages while frequently failing to deliver on services is simply intolerable. I believe it's time for us as a community to take a very close look at what we are spending our money on.

For those who are interested, all of the data that I used is available on-line. A summary of the population density for cities with a population of between 1 million and 500,000 is available here. The population data for each city came from the U.S. Census Bureau.

A summary of the budget for police departments in this population category is available here. The raw data for police budgets came from each of the individual cities. Links to each city's budget are available here.

Update - May 26, 2011
With the 2010 Census complete and its results released, Detroit now has a population of 713,777 people. This translates into a population density of 5,142 people per square mile, which is 8.2% above average for cities of our population size (less than 1 million but more than 500,000) and down from the 32.4% above average that I reported above.

As one continues to adjust for the new Census numbers, the Detroit Police Department now has a budget of $581.11 per resident, which is 66.3% above average for cities our size. The Detroit City Council has proposed $12 million in cuts to the Department, which would mean that its budget would still be 61.1% above average.