Board charged with overseeing Detroit Police Department under investigation; 2 staff members on leave

2 staff members will have their access to personnel records, operational systems taken away

DETROIT – With the board overseeing the Detroit Police Department under the microscope and investigation, two staffers are on leave as police now look into multiple allegations.

If you need to familiarize yourself with the board or its function, here’s a quick crash course.

The 11-member board has supervisory authority over the Detroit Police Department. It comprises only civilians, with seven members elected and four appointed by the mayor.

Those two staff members’ jobs hang in the balance pending the investigation results.

“This is difficult,” said Chairperson of the Police Board of Commissioners Bryan Ferguson, while speaking on the investigation into a payroll scheme now launched by the auditor general, inspector general, and DPD’s internal affairs unit. “This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”

“Any appropriate discipline will be brought before the full board to make their determination after the conclusion of the investigation,” Ferguson said.

The allegations consist of some on the oversight board paying fake employees and then trying to cover it up by destroying documents that show the evidence.

In Thursday’s (March 30) board of police commissioners, one man reacted to the news.

“There’s a fear that the corruption is so pervasive that things and documents and people can be manipulated,” said the man to the board.

According to Ferguson, everything was sparked by what’s being called “Several inconsistencies” uncovered by some commissioners and staff members who wanted their colleagues held accountable.

“The board of police commissioners and staff are committed to being fully cooperative with these investigations,” Ferguson said.

The two staff members have been placed on administrative leave and will have their access to the personnel records and operational systems taken away.

“I ran on honesty, transparency, and integrity, and I will not sacrifice any of that for no one,” Ferguson said.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

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.