A corruption investigation focusing on the Detroit Police Department’s narcotic unit has implicated 12 members of the force.
Officers are accused of stealing money from crime scenes, falsifying search warrant affidavits and fraudulently reporting overtime. Those implicated in the scheme have either been terminated, resigned or retired from the force. Two have been suspended with pay. Criminal charges against the individuals are forthcoming.
“If you have the right administration in place, the right oversight, certainly you can do the [corruption] investigation and do it ethically and thoroughly.” — Chief James Craig, Detroit Police
Officials say in one case a police sergeant lied about appearing in court 170 times, stealing more than $16,000 dollars in overtime over a five-year period.
Police Chief James Craig says some officers provided bogus search warrant affidavits and worked with suspected drug violators to drum up false information.
“What this led to was a significant lack of criminal prosecutions for armed and repeated drug dealers despite strong evidence and confessions or admissions,” Craig said.
Craig says the department is reviewing about 500 search warrants affidavits connected to the narcotics unit. He says the department now requires senior level approval before the affidavits are submitted.
Craig says DPD can handle investigating its own corruption and that the department has new policies to prevent future corruption in the unit.
“If you have the right administration in place, the right oversight, certainly you can do the investigation and do it ethically and thoroughly,” Craig said.
The department will also conduct random body camera audits and require complaints to be logged in a digital system. He says the probe is expected to implicate more officers as it turns over more evidence.
The investigations are being turned over to the U.S. Attorney and Wayne County Prosecutor’s offices.