Detroit Police Department Consent Decrees Dismissed

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DETROIT, MI – Detroit Chief of Police James E. Craig and the Detroit Police Department are pleased to announce that on March 31, 2016, the Honorable Judge Avern L. Cohn of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan approved an order dismissing the civil action that gave rise to the two Consent Judgments against the City of Detroit.Detroit Police Department

After 13 years, the Detroit Police Department is now relieved of all independent monitoring and federal oversight stemming from the allegations that the Detroit Police Department had engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional policing practices and behavior.

In 2003, the Detroit Police Department entered into two Consent Judgments with the United States, Department of Justice.

The Consent Judgments imposed a number of requirements on the Department, which ranged from the Department’s use-of-force reporting and investigative practices to the manner in which the department held pretrial detainees.

In the 10 years that followed, the Department worked diligently toward revising its policies and practices, particularly in the area of use of force, arrest procedures, and prisoner detention practices. In 2013, soon after the opening of the Detroit Detention Center, the Detroit Police Department successfully met the requirements set forth in its Consent Judgment dealing with “conditions of confinement”.

In August 2014, the Detroit Police Department entered into the sustainability phase with approval of the United States, Department of Justice. Today, the Department has successfully met the conditions set forth in its Consent Judgment.

The past thirteen years have brought this department from the brink of completely losing the trust of the very people we swore to serve to one that now understands the true meaning of constitutional policy. This accomplishment was not an accident; and is a direct result of the hard working men and women of this department, as well as, the great citizens of the City of Detroit. The Department’s commitment to constitutional policing will continue to serve as a core facet of their enforcement efforts and internal practices.

“Very few of this Department’s achievements have required such longstanding commitment by the men and women of this Department. For this all members should be very proud.” – Chief James E. Craig.

During the Consent Judgment, the department attained several successes which included:

  • An increase in Homicide Closure Rate from 47% in 1998 to 69.9% (more than 5% above the national average) in 2014.
  • A significant drop in citizens complaints (1800 to approximately 1300)
  • Civil Litigation pay-outs were cut in half (from an average yearly payout of $8.9 million to approximately 4.4 million).
  • Holding-cell deaths dropped from 19 (during the period of 1994-2000) to 1 (during the period of 2008-2014).
  • A decrease in fatal shootings were observed from 47 (1995 to 2000) to 18 (2009-2014).
  • Chemical Spray incidents dropped from 460 (in the year 2000) to 50 (in the year 2013)
  • The Department now uses advanced software to track the performance of its members.
  • The Department now keeps all of its prisoners in one central facility.
  • The Detroit Police Department has reformed its policies according to best policing practices.

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