26-year DPD veteran: Morale is 'lowest I've ever seen'

Detroit police veteran: Morale is 'lowest I've ever seen'

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

In the City of Detroit violent crime is up, but arrests are significantly down.  It's a bad time for low morale to affect how police do their jobs, but one officer says that's exactly what's happening.

"I don't know why I'm coming to work every day and working hard," he said.

How would he describe the morale in the Detroit Police Department right now?

"For years you always hear morale is low, but honestly it's the lowest I've ever seen it.  I have 26 years on the job.  Every day when I go in the locker room or when I walk into the station, I hear people saying, 'Why am I here?  I hate it here.'  People are trying to leave."

On the job and fed up, this Detroit police officer says low morale and long days are putting the people of Detroit in danger.

So what is making morale so bad?

"The twelve hour shifts, the pay, the treatment, the lies," he said.

Last year, police pay was cut by ten percent, benefits were reduced, and since then the ripple effect is undeniable.  At the end of 2012, most precincts recorded lower arrest rates even though violent crime in the city is out of control.

"I don't have time to lock up these people for traffic offenses.  If it's a felony or something serious, yeah, I have to do that.  But I'm not going to arrest somebody for driving without a license and leave my comrades by themselves out here for two or three hours while the prisoner is being processed," the officer said.

In this officer's district Monday there were only two squad cars, that's four officers for 10,000 people, and the bad guys know they outnumber the cops.

"I think they're getting the word.  That's why there [are] so many robberies out here right now," he said.  "This city is not going to come back until the people feel safe.  I work here.  I don't feel safe."

We contacted Detroit police for reaction to this story.  They never returned our calls.

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