Detroit Police Department's narcotics unit to be restructured

Detroit Police Department's narcotics unit to be restructured

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DETROIT (WJBK) -  Fox 2 has learned of a plan to restructure the Detroit Police Department's narcotics unit.

"The problem is the folks who think they can get away with bringing drugs into our neighborhoods and our communities, around our schools; the gun shots the gang violence that's going on because they have no respect - they have no fear - for the police department," says Brightmoor resident Kenneth Smith.

"You can't let your neighborhood go because you are scared of the people that's [sic] doing wrong in your neighborhood," says Denise Sims, also a Brightmoor resident.

If anyone can talk about what goes down in the streets it's the residents of Brightmoor, one of Detroit's most dangerous zip codes. So, swirling rumors rumors about Detroit police disbanding its narcotics unit were cause for concern.

"It would be a terrible thing here. I see that they are working, doing good things, for Detroit but the neighborhoods and the people in the neighborhoods got to help," says Sims.

A source inside the Detroit Police Department tells Fox 2's Maurielle Lue in just the last six weeks one of five narcotics crews confiscated $348,000 cash, $224,000 in cocaine, $126,000 worth of  heroin, $20,000 in pain killers, 20 guns, 10 cars and several pounds of weed.

Again, that's the month's work of just one crew.

"They've been in the neighborhood. We've seen them. We've seen them up and down Grand River, Fenkell. We've seen them on Pilgrim. They know where they are and we, as citizens living in these neighborhoods, we know where it's happening at. We know which blocks they're on," says Smith.

Statistics for 2014 look amazing. Year-to-date the unit has seized 357 guns, 126 vehicles, 9 million dollars in cocaine, 10.4 million dollars in heroin and, before the summer gets started, 993 felony arrests.

For police, this is a party .

A spokesman for DPD says the party is far from over. Detroit's narcotic unit is not shutting down, only restructuring. He says the changes are in the initial planning phase but Fox 2 has learned some officers who have worked narcotics for 20 years could be relocated to get precinct experience while the chief looks for fresh, young blood to bulk up the team.

"I have no problem with rotating but you can't do away with the old heads who have the insight on what's going on. The transition has to work," says Smith.

Detroit police say it's too early to speculate on their new plan because it's not finished yet, but they do want to stress now a day will go by without a narcotics unit on the street. They will continue their regular raids and the narcotic unit's mission.

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