In a recent report about Detroit teens taking over a gas station there, I read that the police have been repeatedly called to the station to disperse the teens only to have the teens return to the station upon their departure.
The chilling line in the report was the last one:
Detroit police tell FOX 2 they'll continue to respond to calls from the station. The owner says he may hire an off-duty officer to help keep his business secure during peak hours. (Emphasis mine)
The stench of rampant extortion and corruption reeks! Should this owner be forced to hire an off-duty officer to keep these teens off of his property? NO! The officers should be performing their job and filing a no trespass order on each teen and then arresting them when they violate the order.
If it takes the precinct stationing a patrol car there during peak hours, that IS the job of the Detroit police department, the reason this business owner charges a City of Detroit sales tax as well as pays a City of Detroit income tax on both his business' income and the income he derives from that business.
It wasn't always that way. I grew up in Detroit in the late 50's and 60's, times of turmoil and the expansion of the Detroit Police Department. When I was small, the police had to reside within the city limits and they were prohibited from moonlighting period. Gradually, the police union won concessions that allowed the officers to live where they want, in or out of the city. Then to be able to moonlight as long as the jobs were not connected to security in any way. Then to moonlight without restriction.
Gradual steps that engender less security for the taxpayers of Detroit and fatter wallets for the police officers themselves. I'm quite sure that anyone can dig and find allegations of pay-offs, kick-backs and other forms of corruption in the Detroit Police Department connected with off-duty activities. I knew back in the early 70's several young officers that paid off their precinct sergeants for prime positions on the list of available off-duty officers that was provided to businesses that needed security.
This also points out the canard foisted on the voters, that more funding was needed to pay the police, that since they were on duty 24/7, they needed to be compensated at a higher pay scale. It is suspicious to me when any "public servant" is paid more than the taxpayer who, at the same position in their career, pays the officers salary. The "they put their life on the line" gambit also doesn't hold water. It it did, our military would be paid on a scale with the police.
Look at the pay of an E-3 and compare it with the starting salary of a rookie police officer. According to eHow.com: " According to a customized salary report obtained through the BLS website, the average annual salary of patrol officers in Detroit was $50,460."
The base pay of a soldier/airman/Marine serving in Afghanistan who is an E-3 in rank (much more experienced than a rookie police officer) is $23,788.80, less than half that of the average patrol officer in Detroit. (Pay data derived from tables on the DFAS website and include the maximum $225 per month combat pay but not housing allowances [BHA] that are based on the local cost of housing that could increase the salary by another $12,000) Even with every possible adjustment, allowance and assistance the servicemember could receive, the Detroit police officer, who goes home to a safe, clean home in the suburbs at the end of each shift, is paid much more.
The progressive mantra of the police need more pay because they "protect" us is utter crap. The police do not protect. They do not prevent crime or stop crimes from being committed. They take reports after the fact and a specialized unit (the Detectives) follow-up and investigate. The other major activity of a police officer is to issue traffic/parking tickets that bring revenue into the city coffers. True, this is a dangerous occupation and police officers ARE killed in the line of duty but so are the servicemembers who are paid much, much less.
Consider as well the average salary of the taxpayer in Detroit: "According to government data, the average salary for jobs in Detroit, Michigan is $31,427, and the median income of households in Detroit was $28,069."
The police officers of Detroit have a great thing going. A political machine (in the guise of a public sector union) that ever increases their salaries while extorting more from the average taxpayers that they supposedly "protect and serve" when it really is that they are protecting their jobs and serving their bank accounts, not the citizens of Detroit.
This is what happens in most major cities and many other urban/suburban areas, not isolated to Detroit.
We need to recognize our needs and address those needs appropriately, without hyperbole or inflated rhetoric. The ability of our police departments to extort average citizens just because they can must end.
All corruption must be rooted out and the realization that the old policies existed for a reason must be embraced!