City of Inkster layoffs 14 police officers


The city is laying off 14 of its police officers effective today, officials said. Inkster Police Chief Gregory Gaskin also announced that he will retire from his position as of January.

"It was a really tough thing for me to do, but we were forced to lay off 14 officers," Gaskin said. "Two of the 14 officers had taken jobs elsewhere before the layoffs were announced. This will leave about 47 officers in the department.

According to Gaskin, the officers impacted were notified of the layoffs earlier this month. Gaskin also confirmed that three newly hired officers were among those laid off.

"This will force us to reorganize," Gaskin said. "There are some demotions back to sergeant and from sergeant back to detective or police officer. That has helped us with staffing so that we can maintain a sufficient number of officers on patrol to handle calls."

Gaskin said he was looking for help from the federal government to rehire some officers.
A city of 26,000 people, Inkster has its share of crime. According to city-data.com, since 2000 the city has recorded 79 homicides, including a high of 13 in 2005.

In 2008, the city recorded two homicides, jumping to nine in 2009 and 11 in 2011. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, the city recorded 329 and 318 assaults; 366 and 449 burglaries and 133 and 105 auto thefts.

As owner of a business that has been on Michigan Avenue for more than 50 years, Nick Corden is worried about the cutbacks.

"They do a very good job patrolling Michigan every day," said Corden, of Corden Chocolates.
"There's a need for them and when you reduce the force by 14 officers, that's a pretty deep cut. At some point, cities have to get their priorities straight.

"I understand the city is trying to make do with less money, but the first priority has to be safety. That's what we pay our taxes for."

In his state of the city message of March 2010, Mayor Hilliard L. Hampton II announced the city had a budget surplus of 14 percent and said the police department had hired three officers, adding the city was in "very good financial shape."

Source: The Detroit News