DETROIT, Aug. 8 (UPI) — The Detroit Police Department, facing a fast-growing murder rate, is shifting desk officers’ duties so they can spend time patrolling streets, officials said.
The department’s “Operation Inside Out: Night Angels” will place officers in desk jobs on street patrols 8 hours a week, The Detroit News reported.
“That will put an extra 40 to 50 officers on the street per shift,” Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said.
“We’re going to saturate targeted problem areas so we can have a strong police presence around these places: liquor stores, gas stations and other high-crime areas.”
The News said the redeployment comes amid one of the city’s most violent summers in recent years. Homicides have climbed 15 percent since the same time last year.
The city had 182 homicides as of July 10, a pace that would bring the year’s total to 350. The city had 366 homicides in 2003 but at least 205,000 more residents then.
At least two more homicides were committed in Detroit Friday.
Some said the department, with nearly 2,800 members, should put more officers in administrative jobs on the streets.
“The department has about 1,000 officers doing desk jobs,” said City Councilman Gary Brown, a former deputy police chief.
“I don’t want to pour cold water on what the chief is doing; I applaud his efforts to use every tool at his disposal to get more officers out there. But eventually I’d like to see those administrative officers on the street full-time and replace them with civilians.”