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Cuts Force Detroit Police To Eliminate Gang Squads

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DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Police Department is disbanding their gang and tactile squads and putting them into routine patrol work beginning Monday as part of an effort to cut costs and put more boots on the streets.

But the chair of the DPD Board of Commissioners told WWJ this was a poorly conceived plan – and one he opposes.

Reverend Jerome Warfield said morale inside the department is at an all time low – and these changes will only hinder their policing efforts.

“When you take officers who are highly trained, who are highly skilled in a very specific area, and you take them and transfer them to units that is not within their skill sets, you put them back in precincts or in traffic cars, it’s even more deflating to them,” said Warfield.

Rev. Warfield says he is concerned school children and business won’t receive the protection that they are used to receiving when at least a dozen gang squad officers hang up their specialty and go back on patrol.

Asked how the appointment of an emergency financial manager — which is expected to happen soon under the director of Gov. Rick Snyder — would affect their search efforts for a new Detroit police chief he said he remains hopeful.

“If the emergency manager comes and is able to reverse what we have done … but our job is to make sure we do exactly what the charter tells us to do and that is; when there is a vacancy to search for a chief of police as long as we do that there is some force that we can not control,” he said.

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