Watch CBS News

Can Detroit Afford Its Own Police? Lansing Mayor Says 'No'

DETROIT (1270 Talk Radio) Can Detroit afford to keep its own police department?

The answer is "no," according to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, a former gubernatorial candidate who argued on the Charlie Langton's Talk Radio 1270 show the city's police force should be disbanded and replaced by deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff's Department.

"Keep an open mind. Detroiters pay county taxes too ... What we're talking about is efficiencies," Bernero said. "The fact is law enforcement is a big expensive enterprise that should be done at the county level, just like in most cases education should be done at the county level."

"We can be more efficient with a county-wide law enforcement," he added.

It would follow the model of Pontiac, according to Bernero's plan. On the brink of bankruptcy, Pontiac eliminated its own police department and hired the Oakland County Sheriff's Department at a steep savings -- with many now supporting the change.

Bernero's proposal comes just a day after Detroit City Council decided not to ask voters in the highly taxed city to pony up more dollars to pay for the Detroit Police Department and the morning after voters in the tri-county area overwhelmingly agreed to tax themselves to support the Detroit Institute of Arts.

"This is the big story, which so far everyone has missed ... The suburban approval of the DIA, the Detroit Institute of Arts, supported by Oakland and Macomb counties, this is revolutionary ... They have embraced regionalism," Bernero said. "If Detroit is going to make it, they can't go it alone."

"What is metro Detroit? We need a real metro Detroit with regional services," Bernero added.

Caller Renee in Harrison Township had a different idea, saying, "I'd like to see Detroit broken down into boroughs, maybe it would be a little bit easier to manage if neighborhoods had their own flavor and took care of themselves."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.