Detroit police hope federal grants will save jobs

108 officers received layoff notices on Wednesday

DETROIT - Officials in Detroit said they hope the U.S. Justice Department lets the city use federal grants designed to hire officers to help keep them on the job. Police Chief Ralph Godbee says layoff notices for 108 officers will go out in about two weeks.

The layoffs are part of the city's plan to cut 1,000 jobs by April to help reduce a deficit of about $200 million in Detroit's general fund. Mayor Dave Bing says the city could run out of cash by April.

Funds remain in two federal grants for new hires. Police officials are seeking a variance to use that money to keep 75 officers on the job for up to three years.

"He feels very confident that he will be able to reconfigure the grant and have these individuals never actually leave the job, per se," said Joseph Duncan, of the Detroit Police Officers Association. "The bottom line is that he's a very honorable man. If he says he's going to do it, it's going to get done."

The process should take between 45 and 60 days.

Twenty-five positions scheduled for layoffs are expected to be made up through attrition.

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