After 35 years, the Detroit Police Gang Squad has been reduced substantially. The Detroit police department says the unit now has about 20 officers –down from 60. Those 40 officers have been reassigned, and will now respond to 911 emergency calls.
In a statement, the department said the stand alone unit is no longer needed because of the department’s coordination with federal partners to address gang issues.
Police spokesman John Roach said the change was also determined by the department’s use of crime data to pinpoint areas where stepped-up police patrols are needed.
“What is more important to the average citizen is having enough officers on patrol to respond to their 911 calls,” he said,
The Gang Squad recently had been part of a mobile strike force credited with removing illegal guns and drugs from Detroit streets.
Residents often showed up at police commission meetings complaining about the squad. In March, dozens of people packed the meeting room reporting that the unit had brutalized innocent people in their neighborhood.
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