Detroit Police Union Says Visitors May Want to Avoid Their Dangerous City

It’s not everyday that you hear the local police of a large major city announce that their city is too dangerous for them to visit.  But that’s what the police in Detroit are saying right now.  This week, the Detroit Police Officer’s Association (DPOA) held an “Enter at Your Own Risk” rally to tell the public that they are being overworked and underpaid.  They also said that they and the citizens should be fearful for their lives, and they seem to have a pretty good argument.

“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,” union attorney Donato 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.”

Hundreds of police officers have left the Detroit Police Department since the start of the summer, and the workforce has declined dramatically.

“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.
This led Iorio to take the surprising step of telling tourists to be wary  of coming into the city.  He says that the violence in Detroit is out of control and seemed to compare the city to a third-world country in that it has become a failed state for local politicians.   The Detroit Police Department has fewer officers than ever, even though crime has gotten out of control.

“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.

Can the federal or state governments do anything to help this struggling city?  Some are wondering how Detroit residents are going to survive under these conditions.

“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.

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