DETROIT – A Michigan prison surrounded by a Detroit neighborhood is being reopened as a temporary detention center for people arrested in Detroit.
This move should get cops back on the street and ease the minds of citizens. The former Mound Road Prison will now be the new temporary home for arrested people-in-holding and those waiting to be arraigned.
"This is one change that is going to have a direct effect on our community," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. "In the short time I've been here, my focus has been looking at the core work, service to the community and getting more officers in the field. And we're doing that, certainly this will make that happen."
Craig was joined at the grand opening Thursday by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder.
"We started working years ago on this plan," Bing said. "Now today is a culmination of all the hard work and all of the good work that was done by so many. We have to make sure that we provide the services that our citizens pay for, expect and deserve."
Six precincts in Detroit currently have 60 officers that are still booking and processing detainees. At the detention center, only 19 will need to be on staff, allowing 41 officers to leave the paper work and get back in the field.
Snyder took a tour of the building, which can house up to 200 people, allowing five city lockups operated by the Detroit Police Department to close. The goal is to eventually close the lockups and use this facility that has been empty for so long.
"This detention center illustrates a point about everyone working well together," the Governor said. "This is about everyone coming together to say we know we have problems, but we're going to solve those problems."
Snyder went on to say the ultimate goal is to make Detroit a place where people want to come and live. The detention center and the ability to put more cops in the field should make people feel safer and be a step towards that goal.
Plans for this detention center were announced in April. This opening comes after what the state calls minor renovations to the former Mound Correctional Facility, which was closed in January of 2012.