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Detroit Council Delays Decision On Police Millage Request

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit City Council has decided to table a decision on a millage increase request that would be earmarked specifically for hiring additional police officers.

The request came Tuesday from Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee and the Rev. Jerome Warfield, head of the city's Board of Police Commissioners.

The 5-year, 8-mill request would raise an estimated $56 million for the police department.

Council will hold a special session on the request within the next two weeks.

As for now, Godbee said he's looking at other options to save money.

"We'll be making some proposals for early retirement," Godbee told WWJ Newsradio 950. "Between that and through attrition we will be down to about 2,533 members, which is what our authorized strength is."

"What this millage would allow us, if it's voted up, it would give us an opportunity to add also above that 2,533 level," he said.

The proposal would need council approval by the end of August to make the November ballot.

Without such a dedicated revenue source, Godbee said the chances of adding to the Detroit Police Department in the near future will be "zero-to-none."

City Council President Charles Pugh said he thinks residents should get to decide, but he doesn't think the idea will fly.

Detroit's 2012-13 budget calls for a cut of $75 million, much of which falls on the police department.

Last week, Mayor Dave Bing imposed new contracts on unions, including police and fire, cutting salaries by 10 percent and requiring employees to cover 20 percent of their medical costs. 

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