Riding Along with a Detroit Citizens Radio Patrol Team

In 1967, Detroit established citizen radio patrols to cruise the neighborhoods with CB radios and provide extra pairs of eyes and ears to help police officers.

Fifty years later, about 40 of these neighborhood organizations are active, and officials are hoping to add patrols.

The city  is hosting an appreciation and recruitment night for the patrols on Monday, March 20 at the Redford Theatre. If you’re curious about what it would be like to be on one of these patrols you can read the bylaws online.

You can also listen to the ride along that WDET did with a husband-and-wife team who are members of the South Warrendale Radio Patrol. Click on the audio link above.

On this night, Vice President Barb Matney rides in the passenger seat while her husband, Joe Matney, takes the wheel.

WDET/Laura Herberg

Barb Matney outside the Grand Marquis she patrols her neighborhood in.

WDET/Laura Herberg

Barb Matney’s husband, South Warrendale Radio Patroller Joe Matney with the gear: the light, the magnetic sign for their vehicle, his official patrol badge, and his beloved coffee. “I didn’t drink the stuff until I became a truck driver,” Matney says.

WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg

A blighted house that the Matneys say has been an issue in their neighborhood the last couple years.

WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg

Barb says bulk trash like this is not picked up when it is dumped in front of an abandoned lot. She reports it to the city using the Improve Detroit smart phone app and says it should be picked up within the week.

WDET/Laura Herberg
WDET/Laura Herberg


Image credit: WDET/Laura Herberg

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at detroitjournalism.org.

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Through sound-rich storytelling, Herberg covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region and the issues that affect them. Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter 2018 and 2017.

Follow @HerbergRadio

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