Detroit Fire, Police Departments Suffer Deep Cuts

DETROIT (WWJ) – A city plagued by arson fires now has fewer engines on the streets and police officers on patrol.

City budget cuts hit the Detroit police and fire departments this week, eliminating 10 engines and four ladders from the Detroit Fire Department’s budget.

Five of the cut engines being removed from service are considered “browned out” in spotty service for the past seven years, according to reports. One of the four ladders cut is also considered “browned out.”

The department will also be demoting two battalion chiefs to captain, 15 captains to lieutenant, 41 lieutenants to sergeant and 90 sergeants to firefighters, among other demotions, as part of the cuts. The demotions are expected to push out younger firefighters.

It’s all part of the 2012-13 budget passed by Mayor Dave Bing, which also slashes $75 million — or 18 percent — from the police department’s $414 million budget.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said the reduced budget means fewer officers on the streets.

“The fewer boots on the ground obviously has an impact on our ability to provide the level of service we’ve provided in the past,” Godbee told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “It’s going to translate to about 350 fewer resources than we’ve had a year ago.”

Godbee said residents are going to have to step up to help protect their communities.

The budget took effect July 1.

MORE: Federal Grant Helps Detroit Keep Firefighter Jobs


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