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"Our city is still way too violent": Detroit Police requesting more money for next budget

Detroit police officials speak at a city council meeting Monday.
Briana Rice
Michigan Radio
Detroit police officials speak at a city council meeting Monday.

The Detroit Police Department has asked for more than $368 million in its budget request for the next fiscal year — an increase of several million compared to recent years.

Detroit Police Chief James White made the request in a presentation to the Detroit City Council.

He said homicides and non-fatal shootings have decrease in the city, but not enough to warrant reducing the force's budget.

"Our city is still way too violent. We still have too many shootings, but this still does inform us that our strategies are strong. We’re going to continue down that path," White said.

The majority of the money would go to the department’s salaries. White said the department is emphasizing community policing, meaning he wants more officers in neighborhoods.

But it will also go towards expanding the city’s shot spotter system, a network of microphones and sensors that's supposed to detect when guns are shot in certain areas.

The police budget accounts for almost 30% of the city’s total proposed budget.

A 2021 Michigan Radio analysis found Detroit was paying more for its police departments than some other similarly sized cities.

White said his department will be focusing on mental illness, education and job opportunities.

"You cannot arrest your way out of crime. I’ve said it a million times. People have to have opportunities. we have to really take a sobering look at the issues that drive crime," White said.

Detroit City Council plans to vote on the budget by April 14.

Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.
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