Federal Oversight of Detroit Police Department Ends

DPD had been monitored since 2003.

white police car with blue and red decorations

Detroit Police car, 2016.

After 13 years of answering to the U.S. government, the Detroit Police Department is free of federal oversight. A U.S. District Judge ruled that DPD was in compliance with obligations set out by the U.S. Justice Department. Barbara McQuade is the area’s U.S. Attorney. She tells WDET’s Eli Newman that the Department of Justice and her office began looking into DPD back in 2003, following a number of incidents.

“There was use of excessive force, sometimes resulting in fatal shootings. Second, unlawful detentions of witnesses who were not charged with any crime, material witnesses, maybe a girlfriend or a wife of a suspect. And finally, deplorable conditions of confinement in police holding cells.”

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade

McQuade says since transitioning control back to DPD 18 months ago, the police department is now largely in compliance with the obligations set out by the Department of Justice. Detroit Police Chief James Craig told Crain’s Detroit Business recently that the city spent more than 50 million dollars to reform the police department and jail operations during the oversight period.


  • Eli Newman
    Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.