Detroiters may have the chance to approve a tax that would put more police officers on the street, if the police department can effectively answer City Council's concerns.
The body put off a vote to put an millage on the November ballot that would raise approximately $56 million and add 500 to 600 officers to neighborhood patrol. The 9-mil increase would be in effect for five years, at which point residents could vote again.
Police Chief Godbee told Council 30 to 40 officers would go to precincts outside the central district, where there is better police presence currently.
"We think [it] is a worthy investment not only for the neighborhoods of Detroit but to the city's overall financial health," Godbee said.
In light of unanswered questions, Council chose to wait to vote on whether the initiative would go on the Nov. 6 ballot. They will reconvene for a special session during their summer recess, which begins Wednesday, to meet the deadline to get it on the ballot.
Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said the proposal came out of the Public Health and Safety Standing Committee without a recommendation because they wanted a more detailed written plan for how the money would be spent.
"One paragraph on the ballot isn't going to guarantee anything," Brown said.
Godbee countered that it was a simple deployment plan to put the officers in precincts.
"This isn't rocket science. This isn't any major plan," he said.
Councilman Ken Cockrel Jr. expressed concern about increasing the financial burden for Detroiters, whom he says face high taxes and high levels of poverty.
The tax would come out to $225 yearly for owners of a home worth $50,000.
Cockrel said if the measure went to vote presently, he would vote against it.
The push for more funding comes as the police department faces an 18 percent, $75 million cut in next year's budget, and new union contracts that cut pay by 10 percent.
"It's critical not only for the citizens. It's dangerous for our officers," Rev. Jerome Warfield of the Board of Police Commissioners told The Huffington Post in May. As he told Council at the time, "We are stretched beyond our limits right now."
In June, 2012, police searching for missing one-year-old Zyia Turner found her dead in a closet under a pile of clothes at her family's home. Her mother left her in her grandmother's care, who in turn left her at home with an uncle while doing errands. Grandmother Bridget Elam says it must have been an accident and her son had helped raise his other nieces and nephews.
Latonya Bowman was allegedly abducted at gunpoint by ex-boyfriend Jamal Rogers (shown) and Antonio Mathis, who drove her to a field, doused her in lighter fluid and set her on fire before shooting her. Bowman reportedly played dead and is expected to recover despite suffering burns. She gave birth to a boy on May 29, 2012 via emergency cesarean section hours before Rogers and Mathis were arraigned on charges of attempted murder and other crimes. (AP Photo/Warren Police Department)
In April 2012, five men were charged with the abduction and slaying of Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway, two friends and roommates who lived in Hamtramck. The men allegedly kidnapped the women at gunpoint and put them in the trunk of a car.
After William and Brenda Evans, a couple living on the east side of Detroit, were killed in their home in May, their daughter Tierra Evans claimed they were killed over a lottery ticket. While the Detroit Police Department believed drugs were involved, Tierra Evans denied drug involvement. Instead, she said her father was known as "Dollar Bill" in the neighborhood for his lottery luck and it was known that he had a winning ticket.
In April 2012, 19-year-old Brian Douglas White snapped after his girlfriend broke up with him and allegedly killed his ex's new boyfriend, Jacob Burns, and her mother, Angela Staperfene, before fatally shooting himself. White's ex-girlfriend reportedly suffered injuries but survived the attack.
Two-year-old Bianca Jones went missing in December 2011, when father D'Andre Louis Lane reported his car stolen from a gas station with his daughter inside. The car was recovered, but Jones was not there and was not found after lengthy searches. In March, Lane was charged with his daughter's murder as well as child abuse. In the photo, Bianca Jones' mother Banika Jones holds a photo and missing poster of her daughter in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. (Paul Sancya / AP Photo)
Clayton Carter, owner of Can You Picture This, holds a T-shirt made in memory of Demesha Hunt, 24, left, and Renisha Landers, 23, right, on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, in Detroit. Hunts' and Landers' bodies were found Dec. 19, 2011, in a car trunk in Detroit. Police discovered the badly burned bodies of two other women on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, in a car trunk. Police have said three of the four women had promoted themselves as escorts through the same website, Backpage.com. In May 2012, police arrested two men in Sterling Heights and held them for questioning as part of their investigation. (David Runk / AP Photo)
As the Movement electronic music festival took place in May in Detroit, a shooter opened fire in a downtown crowd near the Renaissance Center, killing one man and injuring two others. The police department says the music festival was not linked to the shooting.
In May 2012, Detroit Police officers shot a 72-year-old man three times. They allege he charged at them with a knife.