Here’s how officer safety concerns are hampering recruiting in Metro Detroit

‘We’re facing an increase in violent crimes, in violence against police officers’

DETROIT – It’s a backlash that could cause a crisis for police departments across the country as a rise in violent crime has prospective officers thinking twice about joining the force.

Local 4 has seen officers in Macomb and Wayne counties shot at in the past few days, and the problem isn’t improving. And now, along with competition from departments in other cities, a real issue is emerging.

Cell phone video seen Monday (Jan. 2) showed a man running from Warren police who fired a shot at the officer, who then returned fire.

No one was hit.

Read: Police chase suspect arrested after crashing car, opening fire on officers on Detroit’s east side

A photo showed a Dearborn police officer seated when he came under fire with bullets narrowly missing his head.

Police in Michigan and nationwide are facing more violence to a point where Dearborn police say people are staying away from becoming officers.

“While we’re facing an increase in violent crimes, an increase in violence against police officers, we’re also challenged in doing it with less officers,” said Dearborn police Commander Tim McHale.

Steven Dolunt spent 31 years In law enforcement with Detroit police.

He says social media may be helping fuel people’s willingness to run from the police or fire shots at police.

“Back in the day, when they’d shoot at us, you’d get something in the paper,” said Dolunt. “Now it is streamed live on social media. People think it’s okay, we can do that, and you can’t.”

Police are not happy that some judges are issuing low bonds for violent offenders putting people back out on tethers.

“We’ve gone so far on the other end that it is ridiculous,” Dolunt said. “No bond gun offenses, donuts in streets taunting police.”

“We have seen repeat offenders out on bond oftentimes with nothing to lose,” Mchale said.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.