Belle Isle committee promises to review policing practices

By Will Jones - Reporter

DETROIT - After recent complaints about policing on Detroit's Belle Isle, including from city leaders, the park's advisory committee has launched a review of law enforcement practices.

"We as committee members are very confident that law enforcement is being handled appropriately, fairly. It's not oppressive," said committee member Michele Hodges.  

Since February, Michigan State Police and the DNR have been patrolling the island. There have been dozens of arrests for felonies and misdemeanors and even taken some fugitives off the street.

Police say speeding, going 10 to 15 mph over the limit, is what brings most people face-to-face with an office on the island. They also say statistics show the majority of the traffic stops ended with just a verbal warning.

"One of my troopers stops the individual. They let them know what the speed limit is. They may have missed the signage," said MSP Lt. Nate McQueen.

Committee members say they're working to improve the relationship between the community and officers on the island.

"What we do have is a perception problem and we're not naive to that. It's very important to address that because Belle Isle is home to all Detroiters," Hodges said.  

Anyone who experiences a problem with an officer on Belle Isle is asked to call their department -- there is a review process in place.

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