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Orr On Hot Seat In Bankruptcy Trial, Craig Talks Cop Morale

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(credit: Marie Osborne/WWJ)

(credit: Marie Osborne/WWJ)

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DETROIT (AP/WWJ) — Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is returning to court as a witness in the sixth day of the city’s bankruptcy trial.

Orr’s testimony is expected to be followed by that of Andy Dillon, former state treasurer who helped select Orr. The trial, which was stopped last week to allow Judge Steven Rhodes to attend a major meeting of bankruptcy law specialists in Atlanta, is expected to wrap up this week.

Unions and pension funds are asking Rhodes to throw out Detroit’s Chapter 9 filing or at least protect the pensions of city retirees. They accuse Orr and his staff of failing to engage in “good-faith” negotiations before the petition was filed in July, a key step under federal law.

Orr says creditors had plenty of time to come up with proposals. He says the city must fix $18 billion in long-term debt.

Safety in the city is a topic of discussion as many figure out how to get Detroit back on its feet. And police chief James Craig has made it very clear that to improve the Detroit Police Department, officers need a morale boost.

“You force them onto 12-hour shifts at the same time you’re taking 10 percent of their pay,” Craig said. “That’s a recipe for morale decline.”

He added talk of cutting police pensions only brings morale lower.

What does Craig need for the department to succeed?

“If I had 3,000 police officers I could put out in the field, that would be a start,” Craig said.

The emergency manager’s report in 2012 the Detroit police department had about 2,030 employees.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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