DETROIT (WWJ) – Citing the already heavy tax burden on Detroit homeowners, City Council has voted not to put a public safety millage on the November ballot.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, who lobbied hard in favor of the measure, said he’s disappointed that Detroit voters will not get a chance to decide if they want to pay higher taxes to hire more cops.
“Now we don’t say this from the position of giving up or that we’re not going to fight crime,” said Godbee. “We’re going to continue to fight. My officers do a hell of a job given the challenges that they have. But, at some point, if you look at successful cities, you need more boots on the ground.”
Councilman Ken Cockrel, who voted with six of his colleagues against the measure, said he’s not been happy with management of the department.
But Cockrel told Godbee he shouldn’t take it too personally.
“I’m not knocking the fine men and women in blue in the Detroit Police Department,” Cockrel clarified. “But I don’t think we’re being highly effective. I don’t think our resources are being deployed in a highly effective manner.”
If the new millage proposal had appeared on ballot and was approved by voters, it would have funded the hiring of 500 additional police officers and supported more fire fighters and emergency medical service technicians.