Chief James Craig says Detroit continues to work on fixing police problems.

It’s been nearly a year since Detroit emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. All this month, WDET is looking back at the past year and how the Chapter 9 case affects the city.

This week we look at the residents and their experiences before and after the bankruptcy. Part of that includes public safety.

During the bankruptcy trial, then-Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr testified public safety was his first priority when he came to Detroit, four months before he filed the bankruptcy petition. Public safety has continued to be a top concern of city officials, including Mayor Mike Duggan who talked about police response, staffing and administrative changes at a recent community meeting.

 Detroit Police Chief James Craig joins Stephen Henderson to discuss what has happened to the department in the wake of the bankruptcy.  

 

  • Competition for Talent: “We are pushing to hire more police officers but we’re competing w suburban neighbors and other places. We have to be competitive when it comes to salaries” according to Craig

 

  • Lower Salaries: Detroit has some of the lowest starting salaries for rookie police officers. “Detroit police officers start at $32,000 per year  versus  other comparable cities where they start at $52,000” says Craig

 

  • City Living: A caller suggested that people tend to be most committed to the place where they live and many Detroit officers do not live in the city. Chief Craig responded “DPD officers have demonstrated over and again, every day, their commitment to Detroit”

 

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.