Detroit to deploy more officers, pay OT to boost presence, curb crime

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The Detroit Police Department is deploying more officers as the summer ends in a bid to curb crime at large gatherings and in hot spots, officials announced Thursday.

In an executive order effective Friday through Sept. 26, Mayor Mike Duggan has authorized double time for officers on special assignment to deter gun violence, the city said in a statement. 

It's expected to be available to officers working specific enforcement details that include drag racing, narcotic raids and special operations, according to the release.

Meanwhile, nearly 300 more officers are expected to work weekends through next month to increase police presence and secure parks, block parties, festivals, sporting events and concerts, as well as other activities, city representatives said.

Officials say filling overtime shifts has become more difficult.

“This incentive for the men and women of the Detroit Police Department who put themselves in harm’s way every day is critical to keeping Detroiters safe,” Chief James White said. “I’d like to thank Mayor Duggan for his continued support and commitment to supporting our officers.”

Duggan said the chief "has the right strategies to address the gun violence in our city. What he needs most are officers on patrol. This new incentive will help him provide more officers for special operations and added presence in areas and at times when crowds of people are gathering.”

The announcement comes amid renewed attention to violent crime in Michigan's largest city.

While city statistics through last month showed homicides and nonfatal shootings had dropped from the same period last year, there have been high-profile incidents involving groups and children.

In a single day this month, a pair of shootings left multiple people dead and injured.

On Aug. 4, a 3-year-old girl was shot while playing with a gun near Littlefield and West Chicago on the west side. Two days earlier, on Aug. 2, a 2-year-old girl and a bystander were shot near Lawndale and Witt on the southwest side.

Through Tuesday, the Police Department said 11 children had been fatally shot this year. Some 54 were shot but survived.