The Detroit Police Department is outlining its budget requests for the next fiscal year, which includes a $22 million increase totaling $389 million.
The majority of that funding would go toward increasing salaries and benefits, but DPD plans to employ less people next year by reducing its overall workforce by eight positions.
During his budget presentation before City Council, Detroit Police Chief James White said retention has been a chronic problem.
“Recruiting is just something we’re very, very focused on. Everyone in this department is focused on,” White said.
Those recruiting plans include doubling the size of its Narcotics Enforcement Section. Under the proposal, funding for NES — which has a history of corruption in Detroit — would double to $42 million. White said during his presentation that there has been an uptick in illicit marijuana sales, even though cannabis is generally legal in Michigan.
“They’re creating some different potencies. And then we’ve got our youth violence that these young kids are emulating behaviors that they’re seeing from previous gang members.”
White states there has been a 17% increase in homicides year-to-date in Detroit. According to DPD’s budget proposal, the department would remove 34 positions from the city’s homicide unit, or about 15% of its staffing.
The proposed budget would also shift funding away from policing its most violent neighborhoods, with less dollars going toward the 8th and 9th precincts. Instead, more resources would be allocated toward emergency services, with a surge of officers and money planned for the Incident Response unit. White outlined the funding needs for crisis intervention amid a rise in mental health-related incidents.
“Back of the envelope math, it’s close to about half-million dollars. But obviously I’m going to bring a comprehensive document to this body to make an evaluation. I’m just not there yet,” White explained.
DPD’s human resources department would nearly double in size as they focus on recruitment. Meanwhile, the Duggan administration is recommending cuts for Records and Identification, removing nearly 80% of positions from that unit.
There are nearly 390 total vacancies at the police department according to recent city reports, more than 10% of positions currently available at the agency.