Changes to add Detroit officers on street

March 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM

DETROIT, March 18 (UPI) -- Detroit's newly appointed emergency manager says getting more police officers onto the street is his top priority on a list of the city's problems.

Kevyn Orr says he will be fair and balanced as he makes management and structural changes to get "more people on the ground," The Detroit News reported Monday.

He said he wants Detroit residents to "feel like there's been a net benefit to them in terms of city operations."

Some changes in the police department are already underway. The Gang Squad and Tactical Mobile Unit were disbanded on March 1 and those officers sent to precincts around the city.

Other units under consideration to be eliminated are the Violent Crimes Task Force, Crime Scene Analysis Unit and eight officers assigned to the city council.

The redeployment has already been criticized by high school students protesting the dissolution of the Gang Squad. The police commissioners board has complained that restructuring the police department without board approval violated the city charter.

The Detroit Financial Review Team said last month that city and police officials have provided vastly different numbers about the number of officers in patrol positions.

Interim police chief Chester Logan says the goal is to for 80 percent of officers to be on patrol from the current level of 71 percent.

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