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Detroit will pay for extra cops at fireworks, asks for 'regional' support in the future

The Parade Company
via theparade.org

Suburban law enforcement officers will help Detroit Police keep the peace at this year’s riverfront fireworks.

But city officials warn it’s the last time the city will pick up the security tab for a major “regional” event.

“We can’t continue this way, with the financial condition that the city’s in," Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis said Monday. "Nor does it really make sense, in particular, for regional events…to not have the region help support those.”

Earlier this month, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the city can no longer afford to provide enough security for big annual events like the fireworks, or the Thanksgiving Day parade. He said other southeast Michigan business and government leaders will need to pitch in if those events are to continue.

But apparently, those discussions didn’t start soon enough to cover this year’s fireworks, which typically draw close to a million people to downtown Detroit.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee says about 250 Metro Detroit sheriff’s deputies from Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, along with Michigan State Police, will come in for the event. A federal grant will pay for that.

Godbee is also hopeful the City Council will sign off on a strict curfew for kids 17 and under.

“The emergency curfew, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., we think would be a tremendous  tool for us to be proactive in identifying those individuals [whose] parents are sending them to the fireworks, rather than accompanying them to the fireworks,” Godbee told a Detroit City Council committee Monday.

Godbee also wants to close a portion of the Detroit Riverwalk for the fireworks, so that viewers are confined to three main "viewing areas." He said his officers and other law enforcement agents have gathered "intel" indicating there might be some gang activity planned for the fireworks. He declined to specify what that meant.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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