Detroit Police Department losing an officer nearly every day
“Can you really blame them?” a retired Detroit Police assistant chief said
By Sarah Calams
DETROIT — Since the beginning of 2022, the Detroit Police Department has lost 223 sworn officers – averaging out to about 28 officers per month. With four months in the year remaining, that number has already more than doubled from those who left the department in 2021.
But the officers aren’t leaving the profession altogether. Instead, they are joining departments outside of Detroit for better pay, benefits and safer working conditions, The Detroit News reported.
“One of the big issues we have is, we’re losing officers to the suburbs at a good rate,” Detroit Police Assistant Chief David LeValley said. “We get them, train them in the academy and then the suburban agencies are not shy about recruiting and taking our officers.”
Steve Dolunt, a retired Detroit Police assistant chief, said some officers are saying, “‘Screw it. I’ll go to work in the suburbs where I can make more money and I don’t have to deal with all that crap.’ Can you really blame them?”
The department has ramped up its recruiting efforts, resulting in the hiring of 138 officers. However, the agency is still 200 officers short of its budgeted positions. Another 61 recruits will graduate before the end of the year, but Dolunt says replacing seasoned officers with rookies may come with a price.
“It takes years to learn the city’s culture,” he said. “A lot of these kids are from the suburbs and they don’t know how to deal with the different situations that come up on the job. You need people with experience to patrol a city like Detroit. You’ve got kids out there with no experience and the people training them only have a few years on the job themselves. That’s not good.”