Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ralph Godbee Speaks at Rutgers University

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  • The Detroit Police Department continued to waste millions of tax dollars on outdated leases for cars.
The Detroit Police Department today has one of the largest budgets of any police department in the nation on a per resident basis. In spite of this, terrible management at the upper levels of the department mean that residents continue to suffer under conditions that no other community in the industrialized world would ever tolerate.

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.

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