Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Flint PD — broken department in a broken city

March 15, 2018

Netflix is currently airing a gritty 8-part documentary “Flint Town” that captures violence and desperation in a failing city, produced by film makers who were embedded with the police department for 20 months. The PD is badly understaffed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. As one officer wrote, “How can citizens in Flint trust the police to protect them when they can’t even trust their government to provide them with clean water?” The film’s trailer is here. An 8-minute scene from the documentary is here. A column about the film and the city is available here.


More sociable media

February 20, 2018

This article appreciates the humorous content distributed on Twitter by the Troy, Michigan police department to its 3,500 followers. The sergeant responsible says “people will get a traffic ticket and that negative experience leaves a long lasting impression, so this is kind of a good way to show our other side, which we don’t often have the opportunity to do.”


November 3, 2017

This article briefly describes several successful police uses of drones to locate suspects, document crime scenes, and watch over evacuation zones. One source estimated 350 departments using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as of 2016. The Police Foundation offers resources about drones here, here, and here.

Michigan addresses gypsy cops

October 19, 2017

Michigan has enacted legislation requiring law enforcement agencies to keep records related to an officer’s employment separation, and requiring hiring agencies to receive such records before finalizing new employment, according to this article. The law mandates information sharing, but agencies will still make their own hiring decisions.

Graffiti crackdown in Detroit

September 20, 2017

This article describes Detroit’s “merciless” crackdown on graffiti, which has resulted in more than 50 arrests and $1.3 million in fines over the last 3 years. Hipster artists had focused on Detroit and all its abandoned buildings as a canvas waiting to be painted, but that collided with the city’s massive effort at blight eradication.

Rehiring tainted cops in Michigan

July 11, 2017

This article reports numerous cases in Michigan of officers who were fired or resigned for misconduct but later hired by other police departments. Local officials complain that the state should be more strict in decertifying such officers, but union leaders say it’s the individual police chiefs who need to be more diligent. Around the country, 6 states have no revocation authority, and many others can only decertify based on a serious criminal conviction. The national picture is discussed on this 13-minute podcast.

Recruiting challenges widespread

March 19, 2017

This article reviews hiring difficulties facing police agencies around the country. Many are below authorized strength for reasons such as the improving economy, stagnating police wages, the demanding nature of the job, and negative perceptions following high-profile death in custody incidents.

Evidence management & control

March 8, 2017

One topic that doesn’t always get a lot of attention is evidence management, yet every police department comes into possession of drugs, cash, jewelry, and other valuable property. This article notes “weekly news accounts of police departments whose evidence rooms have been jeopardized due to lost or stolen evidence” and discusses the use of modern systems and technology for better control and risk reduction.

Focusing on why

February 22, 2017

Here’s a radio interview with the sheriff of Washtenaw County, Michigan, now in his 3rd term, who has reshaped his agency by focusing on the why, public service and public safety. He believes it is necessary to change the fundamental beliefs of the organization, not just its policies or structure, and to model fairness and equity in how employees are treated as a way of encouraging that kind of behavior when dealing with the public.

Body cams & dash cams in Detroit

February 2, 2017

This article reports on Detroit’s integrated system of body-worn and in-car cameras being implemented city-wide throughout 2017, following a test period in two precincts last year. It also discusses the impact of new video evidence on thousands of cases handled by the county prosecutor annually.