You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor officials defend police staffing levels at time when crime is down but concern is high

By Ryan J. Stanton

Related story: Ann Arbor residents raise questions about safety as investigation of assaults continues

Recent reports of rapes, assaults, shootings and stabbings in Ann Arbor have raised serious questions in the minds of some city residents: Is the city becoming less safe? Is there a connection between recent crimes and continued cuts to police staffing levels?

Some think so.

"The elements that we don’t want to have to deal with are coming out of the woodwork like crazy," said Bob Dascola, a barber who has worked downtown for 42 years and serves on the board of the State Street Area Association.

“We need to have police staffing on the streets because it helps to keep those things in check," he said. "Without them around, these guys are just going to keep doing whatever they want.”

But Ann Arbor officials argue perception, in this case, isn't reality. They say the recent crimes that have hit Ann Arbor are unfortunate, but they're confident the city remains safe.


Barnett Jones

Despite the attention given to recent crimes — including a series of attacks on women — city leaders say all reports indicate crime is going down in Ann Arbor. They say that's true even within the downtown, where a number of the crimes have been reported.

"Crossing my desk currently, I don't see crime being up in the downtown area," said Police Chief Barnett Jones, adding the same is true throughout the city.

Jones said year-to-date figures show crime is down in every major category, including rape, robbery, larceny, vehicle theft, breaking and entering, aggravated assault and arson.

The following figures were provided by Jones showing the total number of each type of crime reported so far this year, and how many were reported at this same time last year.

  • Rapes: down from 30 to 23
  • Robberies: down from 39 to 31
  • Larcenies: down from 1,248 to 949
  • Vehicle thefts: down from 71 to 42
  • Breaking and entering: down from 287 to 255
  • Aggravated assaults: down from 65 to 59
  • Arsons: down from 18 to 3

Added up, that's a nearly 23 percent decrease in those types of crimes.

"Our crime is down in every category that we report to the FBI," Jones said. "Would I love for all of these categories to be zeros? Absolutely. But I know that's never going to happen."

Ann Arbor had 191 sworn officers less than a decade ago, and now that's down to 118 after the most recent round of budget cuts. At this point, the city would need to more than double staffing levels in the police department to meet national standards.

That's become a topic of debate in City Council races that will be decided in Tuesday's primary election. Candidates challenging incumbent council members say the city has cut too deep into police staffing levels and they're concerned about the consequences. Meanwhile, another 12 positions in the police department are slated for elimination next year.

The Ann Arbor Police Officers Association warned before the most recent cuts that further reductions in department staffing levels would result in longer response times and reduced police enforcement efforts. Over the past decade, the union claims, the department has been forced to move from proactive policing to reactive policing.

Mayor John Hieftje said on Friday he doesn't think the city has cut too far, but he also doesn't want to see police staffing levels go any lower.

"Council's challenge is to avoid having to make any further cuts to public safety," he said. "That's my goal and council members that I've talked to are totally in agreement with that."


John Hieftje

Ryan J. Stanton |

Hieftje continues to stress that crime has been on a downward trend. A total of 7,911 crimes were reported in Ann Arbor last year, a figure that's down 19 percent from 2002 levels.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports from last year showed Ann Arbor was the second safest of Michigan's six largest cities, trailing only Sterling Heights.

"I think one crime is too many, but as we look at all of the statistical evidence, crime continues to go down in the city," Hieftje said. "Of course, there's going to be peaks and valleys, and periods where things seem to be picking up a little bit. But when you sit down at year's end, I think we're going to arrive at another year where we see crime down in the city."

Downtown Development Authority board member Joan Lowenstein agreed with the mayor. A former member of the City Council, Lowenstein said she doesn't believe there is a correlation between police staffing levels and crime numbers.

"The whole time I was on City Council, that could never be shown, that if you did have an increase, that increasing police patrols would decrease it," she said. "So I don't think that cause and effect has ever been shown."

Until two summers ago, a handful of police officers known as "beat cops" were assigned to patrol the downtown on bicycle and by foot. As part of a restructuring of the police department, those patrols were eliminated, much to the dismay of many downtown business owners.

Jones said he's been struggling for the past two years to get a beat officer back in the downtown area and he's happy to say, as of a few months ago, that has happened.

One of the department's senior officers is now assigned to regularly patrol the downtown, Jones said, and another assists on occasion when resources are available.

"I told the business community, as soon as I can figure out a way to do it, I'd put beat officers back in the downtown area, and we were able to work it out," Jones said.

Jones said additional police presence won't necessarily prevent some of the more serious crimes, like two recent shootings in the downtown.

"You can put as many cops as you want to put in the downtown area, but are you going to be able to stop a person with ill intent who brings a gun to a local bar? No," Jones said. "You're going to respond to that type of situation after the fact."

Commenting on the recent string of rapes in Ann Arbor, Jones recalled a serial rapist named Ervin Mitchell who struck Ann Arbor in the early 1990s and terrorized the city for two years before he was caught — even while the city had dozens more officers than it has today.

"I'd love to have however many officers I could have, but even with all of those officers, I can not guarantee we would not have crimes occurring," he said.

Hieftje also said he hasn't seen any data that shows a relationship between the number of police officers and the amount of crime in a city.

"If you wanted to say that there may be spikes within a month or two of something in an area, that happens all the time," Hieftje said. "It's been happening throughout history in the city of Ann Arbor. That's how the statistics are made up. You go through these periods that are kind of a lull and then you get a spike and things go down."

Hieftje recalled a series of bank robberies from last year.

"Well, that turns out we didn't have any more bank robberies than we normally have — they just happened within a six-week or eight-week period," he said.


Aimee Metzer

Jones said he can emphatically say that Ann Arbor remains a safe community, and he's confident the department will catch whoever is responsible for the recent rapes.

"We have a situation that is ongoing and we're dealing with it," he said. "We have a person with ill intent and we're doing everything we can to catch him. We're going to catch this guy and then we're going to go back to being a nice, relatively safe community."

Aimee Metzer, acting president of the police officers union, said she can't say crime numbers are directly linked to the number or police on the streets. But she said there's no doubt the department's ability to catch bad guys has been hindered by cuts to staffing levels.

"I was working the night of that first major rape that we had," she said. "We had such a small amount of units on the road that I passed the same patrol car looking for the suspect three times. Ten years ago, we used to catch people. Now we just don't even have the staffing to set up a perimeter or bring in a K-9 unit — we're so reactive now."

Added Metzer: "If I lived in Ann Arbor, I would be petrified."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Kk Ichikawa

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

Although is far from any type of investigative journalism, perhaps a simple inquiry into the actual number of "response capable" AAPD police officers on duty would shed some light on the situation. On average, I would guess there are about 10 "response capable" police officers on duty for a City of 100,000+??? If one officer is gathering information from a "victim", that leaves 9 to look for the "suspect(s)" long as there is only one "victim" at a time. This isn't TV! Crimes take longer than 23 minutes to investigate and solve/close with an arrest. The 100+ "sworn police officers" includes non "response capable" sworn employees of the police department, the Chief, Deputy Chiefs, Lieutenants, court officer, property officer, detectives, desk officer, officers on their leave days or at training etc... The repeated statement that Ann Arbor Police has over 100+ "sworn" police officers is misleading in regards to the actual number of police officers on patrol and available to answer calls for service. But it DOES sound good!!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 10:21 a.m.

Interesting that several posts supporting police were the "top" comments last night and suddenly two posts one by snoop dog and the other by Quetzalcoatl had the amount of votes double overnight. A2 .com your voting method on here is questionable to say the least and very misleading. I also question why my comment that it is a police officers job to enforce traffic and write tickets was removed....nothing abusive or of attacking nature about that comment...only fact.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:44 a.m.

What are the staffing levels in Ypsi city or Ypsi Twp?? Or Look at Scio and other smaller townships, they often have ONE officer working the entire township! Ann Arbor still has it VERY good!

C. S. Gass

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 5:07 a.m.

"Hieftje also said he hasn't seen any data that shows a relationship between the number of police officers and the amount of crime in a city." -- Why does he need data? That's just common sense. AAPD's staffing levels are unforgivably low when compared with the national standard, that, in this affluent a community, is reprehensible. And I really get sick of the "blame the cops being greedy" crowd. Does your 'private sector' job require you to run toward danger rather than away from it? No? Does your 'private sector' job require that after everyone else runs out of that burning building, or the building with a gunman in it, that you go running in to take care of the situation? I thought not. Then HOW DARE you compare the warriors of our society to your cubicle clown, private sector job? So just stop, it's old and tired. Cuts do need to be made. There are many places to make them, Police and Fire are not those areas. I would say to Chief Jones, beside good job and carry on, I noted that you mentioned the oft-quoted FBI Crime Statistics. I see that the FBI does not include narcotics in their statistics. And many administrators in law enforcement quote these statistics as an indicator of how 'safe' a community is, relatively. If the FBI and most of law enforcement overlooks narcotics when determining 'safety' in a community, perhaps the city would do well to follow their example by curbing minor drug prosecutions, using the freed staffing for more important issues such as the recent CSC's.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 3:28 a.m.

So the rise is violent crime in Ann Arbor is perception and not reality? Chief Jones, thank you for minimizing the violent crimes in the city of Ann Arbor. Has anyone asked the assault and rape victims or the shooting and stabbing victims about their present realities? If the crimes commited against them were all just perception? That they should have a feel good moment knowing that according to the numbers on Chief Jones' desk show a decrease in crime in Ann Arbor? Or that Newcombe Clark apparently wouldn't have too much problem with e.g., shootings as long as they take place in the still of the night? Or that Mayor Hieftje feels the AAPD should not be thinned out more? The lack of any timely official city reaction to the assaults on women in Ann Arbor was stunning. A panhandler issue gets an immediate response from the city. The assaults against women got nothing. And now the response is a belittling talk down about numbers, a mayor who as campaigned tirelessly to layoff our cops hiding behind a 'no more cuts' statement, and at least one local politician wannabe telling us that if the crime happens at night, it's not so bad. We deserve better. Better safety. Better leadership. Don't vote for these jokers again. Send our police chief packing. They don't deserve to live off our tax dollars.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

crime? question: how low can it go? And even if crimes not going on for years crime a been a problem in the Ann arbor area special downtown, so how we change this?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

There certainly has been an upswing in people demanding more police in Ann Arbor, especially after the recent job cuts and this presumed increase in crimes and violence in a time where student enrollment is lowest. The timing almost seems weirdly convenient. Almost like the perfect argument against the cuts in the police department. Police cuts? crime goes up and accordingly, news about this surge in crimes in our city become hot issues for the voting public. The most expectable response from us would be to increase the police presence in the city. It would be the obvious response in the wake of a rise in crime, to up the number of active police, after so many received the pink slip. Many would draw the conclusion that the increase in crime is due to Ann Arbor Police Department cuts, and in turn, we should hire more police because crime is a growing problem. Conspiracy theory or not, the timing of all of this is very intriguing and will undoubtedly lead many in our city to believe that there is a hot new crime problem which came due to police cuts. The relationship between the local media, city departments and us is very dynamic and interesting. It would seem to me that, on the roads at least, I see more police driving around Ann Arbor than ever before. I've noticed this for months now, at varying hours and locations around town, before this rash of sexual assaults. On the flip side, visit Ypsilanti, a city with plenty of crime going on. You'll notice a lack of police presence, even in areas with notable crime problems. The Ypsilanti Police Department is almost locally known for being sub-standard and being understaffed. You would think there would be some kind of movement to get police there, to the locations where they're most needed, but obviously this does not happen. What's the reasoning for that? Is it because Ypsilanti is significantly less wealthy than Ann Arbor and they're dealing with a tighter budget?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

Key phrase: "Our crime is down in every category that we report to the FBI" Key word: REPORT. These kids going to school their need to be aware of what crimes are lurking in Ann Arbor so that they can become more vigilante! It should be about safety-not what's good for Ann Arbors image.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

Chief Barnett Jones wastes every morning praying privately in City Hall with City Attorney Steve Postema when they should both be working. Outrageous violation of the separation of church and state.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

Postema will never be fired. They city loves him too much and pays him a lot of money because their rationale is that Mr Postema could make way more in the private sector. That though is true with most public employee positions. The city though is willing to pay him more money because of that belief but then do not want to extend the same belief to their unions. Sounds hypocritical.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

They need to pray on their own time and dime.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

we live in a city with all sorts of faiths and diverse cultures. if someone prays (or chooses not to) privately to whomever/whatever/etc... then why does it matter? i doubt a few minutes for a private prayer break interferes with the entire day. this is a silly thing to complain about.

Mr Blue

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

I hope that the new administrator puts an end to this kind of stuff in city hall. If Mr Postema and Mr Barnett, with to pray together they should do it on their own time and not in city hall. I sincerely hope that now that Roger Fraser is gone, Mr Postema will find other employment. Mr Postema and his office, all overpaid and underworked, should be privatized. Indeed Mr Postema has not acted in the interests of the citizens of Ann Arbor choosing instead to represent the bureaucrats in city hall, Roger Fraser in particular. If a group of lower echelon employees did this in their workplace, they would most likely be subject to some form of discipline. This tidbit, if confirmed gives us insight into who runs city hall, not the people, not the bureaucrats, but God?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

Those crime stats appear to be part 1 and 2 crimes that's not all we ask our officers to do. Animal complaints, neighborhood disputes, family disputes, parking issues, mental health issues aren't listed in your numbers

Les Gov

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

check out the public's ratings of the AA Cops. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Kind of tells you everything you need to know doesn't it? People seem happy with the Saginaw Police department. Maybe we should have Saginaw take over the AA department.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

most of the officers on the sight get a good review except for a LT. heres one review Jesbroombaugh Created On: 09/23/2008 11:26:18 Flag As Abuse Flag As Abuse Although I would have much rather not walked away with three misdemeanor traffic tickets I realize Officer Ronewicz was only doing his job. I appreciate his humor while staying professional it actually made a terrible situation seem not all that bad. I wish more cops were like this guy!!


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

Are cops any more accurate in their evaluation, Ray? The Thin Blue Line has protected a lot of corrupt and malice-inclined police officers over the years.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

Ray, Good point. And the people fired up after they get a ticket!


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

It strikes me as unreliable to listen to the ratings of people who interact with police. Half of the people interacting with police are criminals who are naturally not going to like their interaction.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

Not sure how officers are assigned, but with 118 officers, there are ways to put plenty on the road. In the late 80s and 90s many depts in Michigan went to schedules that ran 12 hours. The schedule consisted of four shifts two for days and two for nights. For each shift every day one of the day shifts worked the other was off. Same for nights. Typically an officer never worked more than three shifts in a row and every month every officer had a four day weekend. There were various ways to alter how this worked. This scheduling was very popular with many officers when it was put in use. What this allowed a dept to do was take the number of officers, divide by four and that is how many you can put on each shift. AAPD has 118 officers, suppose you had to assign some to the DB and some to other areas. If you could apply 80 to patrol you would have 20 police officers on duty for every shift. Four shifts of 20 officers on each of the four (two day and two night) all officers worked the same days while the other was off, that is while one day shift was on duty the other day shift was off. I doubt that A2PD ever had an entire shift of 20 on duty officers and this is under the presumption that of the 118 working now you need 38 in non patrol positions which may be high. Thus if you put 30 in non patrol positions, you will have 22 assigned to each patrol shift. I think 20 to 22 is more than enough on patrol at any time and of course you could put more on days and fewer on nights based on peak times for calls for service. That is even enough to cover sick time and vacation, probably without having to pay overtime to fill an open position. Not sure if it is still the case but AAPD used to have a contract provision that after sundown they had double cars. That cuts patrol cars in half and cuts in half how much territory can be covered by on duty officers.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

Nope FOS I did not read the links, I usually don't continue reading posts that make little sense. Like I posted above statements like the media is controlled with no proof eliminate any reason to continue. I am not interesting in reading conspiracy theory. Todd, I know A2PD is on 12 hr shifts I just do not know how they are arranged and my example is simply an example off how staffing can be adjusted. I just think that if A2PD could put 20 officers on patrol each shift that should suffice and with 118 officers perhaps more than 20. If there are five areas, that is four officers assigned to each area. Another thing I question is all the years of so many more officers. If the city can get buy with the number on duty now, why did they expand by 80 more? Imagine the savings (tax cuts) that could have been realized. But when the economy is booming you get expansion. Either way, A2PD and A2FD are both excellent departments. Any concerns of them not performing in the best interests of the city is rubbish.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Mick- The AAPD is on 12 hour shifts and have been so for almost a year now. The shifts was a joint management and union decision. The provision is still in the contract for double cars but is rarely followed. Two police cars are sent to most police calls for service anyway. I would think the city would love have two man cars as it wastes less gas and causes less pollution. I thought the city was really into the saving the environment and being green. I guess I am wrong.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

Clearly you didn't read all the info/links I provided in &quot;2&quot; posts but hey... Thanks for reading the first one... consider your apology accepted on rec.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Ms. Metzer is fear mongering. I have lived in the area my whole life and not once have I been a victim nor have I ever known anyone to be a victim of crime. Petrified? Please, Ms. Metzer. I What I cannot believe is how everyone is ignoring the blatant fear mongering being done by partisans of AAPD on here.Some are even obliquely referring to race by mentioning &quot;Detroit&quot;. Their message is &quot;Be afraid, Ann Arbor, be VERY afraid--especially of &quot;those&quot; people from Detroit.&quot; Undercover racism is just as bad as racism conducted in the open.In some ways it is even worse for some of those who practice undercover racism are those wave the banner of liberalism. Can any partisan of AAPD point to any statistic to justify their point of view? I do not put much stock in the dismissals of the crime statistics for we all know that if the numbers supported their opinion they would be resolutely defending the accuracy of the statistics.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

Eagleman, Statistics by themselves prove nothing either. I work with statistics and it is always prudent to question their validity when they don't make intuitive sense. In a an era of high unemployment and declining police protection, why would crime go down? The most believable reason is that crimes are simply not being reported as often. When it takes several hours to get a policeman to even show up, many people will simply not bother.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

&quot;What is ridiculous is people dismissing the statistics as not being accurate without offering any sort of data to counter it.&quot; A FACT you're overlooking about that statistic is that it's NOT a crime statistic, it's a crime REPORT statistic. There's plenty of data out there from other cities (think Detroit) that shows that when people stop counting on their local police, crime reports go down. Not crimes, crime reports. The percentage of crimes that happen and the percentage of crimes that are reported are two completely different things. There's another thing you're missing. Even if actual crime is down, it's in part because of the past success of the police department in doing their jobs! Isn't there a similar relationship in your own job? I've gotta agree with Sally... what a nice bubble you live it. You haven't been the victim of a crime, so there must not BE any crime! WOW!


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

Perhaps if you thought rationally, Cash, you would understand that the people in this thread are responding in a hysterical fashion. As some have pointed out, the statistics shows that crime is on the decline and that Ann Arbor went through a similar rape spree in the 90's when the staffing was at much higher levels. This would lead a sober mind to think that staffing levels are not really the issue here. What is ridiculous is people dismissing the statistics as not being accurate without offering any sort of data to counter it. Merely writing or saying an assertion supported by statistics and other data is false is not a legitimate argument. You must have statistics or some other form of data to support your counterargument. This is something one learns in high school debate class. As I stated in a previous post, raise taxes. If people are so truly concerned about crime, pressure council members to push for a law enforcement specific millage to raise the funds needed for additional staffing in the police department. This has nothing to do with women or men, but with those who are governed by reason and those who are governed by fear.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Just because you have personally not been a crime victim, and don't know any crime victims, doesn't mean there isn't a crime problem. Try to see the bigger picture that affects everyone, not just you and your circle of friends.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

Perhaps if you were EagleWOMAN you'd understand.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

If you want more police raise taxes. It really is quite simple.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 4:42 a.m.

Raise taxes and the money will somehow finds its way into the pockets of politicians not cops.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 12:01 a.m.

Raising taxes involves fighting greedy, wealthy, property tax avoiding republicons like the McKinley executives that killed the education millage.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

Continued: You can get a much more in depth look at CAFRs and the scam that is right in front of our noses here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. Keep in mind that these reports are public but you'll certainly raise the ire of the guardians when you ask for yours... It's your right! The assets that I'm talking about are not things like the empty &amp; dilapidated train station in Detroit as the afternoon talkies laughed off... The stock market is over 90% owned by Gov entities of all sizes... ALL MARKETS not just the NYSE or what ever they are calling it now. When Ed Koch, former Mayor of NYC, declared... Truthfully... That NYC was going bankrupt... He told the truth... In part... What he didn't say was that at that exact same time NYC had over a Trillion $$$$ in assets both in the market and elsewhere. Another example: Oregon was reporting over 400 Billion shortfall but a brave... and I mean brave State Legislator at great risk to his career &amp; health stood up, in session, with the State's CAFR in his hand to the dismay of the cabal and said I can show you 400 Billion right here... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Watch, Study... Expose these scoundrels because Mr. LeDuff won't and the bureaucrats take their CAFRs to conventions and play bragging games with them... We are being bilked.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

The Cuts... The problem isn't the budget. The problem is that the actual assets are hidden in plain view in the Comprehensive Annual Financial ReportS or CAFRs. The news media is controlled and that is why you will only hear about the budget... ie... The red &amp; the black. While it is not untrue, what is reported to be the red &amp; black... The budget... What they are purposely not telling the you, the public, is that the CAFRs of every Twp. Burg, City, State... &amp; so on contain 100s of thousands, Millions, Billions &amp; in some cases Trillions (with a &quot;T&quot; &amp; a &quot;s&quot;). Newsmedia will not by design mention this. That is why you'll continue to get the Charlie 'controlled' LeDuffs of the world lamenting on police/EMS equipment shortfalls but never telling the... Wait for it... The WHOLE truth. Thanks for the courage Charlie... Riding the bulls doesn't make you brave in my eyes. I digress...


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Mick52... Since the length of my post was over 2000 char. I had to split it up. You can apologise in just just one of my posts replies if you like though :) &quot;Continued: You can get a much more in depth look at CAFRs and the scam that is right in front of our noses here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. Keep in mind that these reports are public but you'll certainly raise the ire of the guardians when you ask for yours... It's your right! The assets that I'm talking about are not things like the empty &amp; dilapidated train station in Detroit as the afternoon talkies laughed off... The stock market is over 90% owned by Gov entities of all sizes... ALL MARKETS not just the NYSE or what ever they are calling it now. When Ed Koch, former Mayor of NYC, declared... Truthfully... That NYC was going bankrupt... He told the truth... In part... What he didn't say was that at that exact same time NYC had over a Trillion $$$$ in assets both in the market and elsewhere. Another example: Oregon was reporting over 400 Billion shortfall but a brave... and I mean brave State Legislator at great risk to his career &amp; health stood up, in session, with the State's CAFR in his hand to the dismay of the cabal and said I can show you 400 Billion right here... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Watch, Study... Expose these scoundrels because Mr. LeDuff won't and the bureaucrats take their CAFRs to conventions and play bragging games with them... We are being bilked.&quot; -Me


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

&quot;The news media is controlled and that is why you will only hear about the budget... ie... The red &amp; the black.&quot; In my opinion, when you post a statement alleging this without proof or documentation, your entire post is not reliable. With no proof of such an outrageous statement, why should we believe anything else you print?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

&quot;Mayor John Hieftje said on Friday he doesn't think the city has cut too far, but he also doesn't want to see police staffing levels go any lower.&quot; So according to him we are currently at the &quot;Goldilocks&quot; staffing level. Wow, are they good or what? Just ask them.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

This, along with related articles, may just as well be an advertisement for Reinhart or Surovell. The more I know about this fine city, the more frightened I become. For such a well-educated population, it is amazing how mediocrity has become the norm. Wake up, Ann Arbor!

John B.

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

Can you explain to us what the heck you mean by this comment? I don't get it, sorry.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5 p.m.

The recent uptick in assaults are concerning, but may represent predicable medium-term cycles associated with a campus population and a down economy. The perception problem may well stem from the fact that, unlike in past years, every bump-and-grab street theft is reported here in a headline, often without details, rather than in a weekly crime blotter. The media presentation amplifies and hypes, rather than informs.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

Pro-police or anti-police, those are basically the two sides to this debate. Ann Arbor is @ 50% of the national average of officers per capita. I am very good friend with one of the dispatchers (who are losing their jobs in January) and if you don't mind waiting 1-2 hours for a police officer to respond to your auto crash then you're good. If you don't mind just making a report over the phone about your house or car being broken into because an officer will be 2-3 hours then you're good. If you call about being assaulted right now, maybe there will be an officer free. Sounds a lot like Detroit. Way to model yourself after an effective force. Bottom line there are not enough cops and probably hiring all of those 80 cops lost in the last 10 years wouldn't prevent the ongoing assaults on females. But you can never predict what one more patrol car driving by just as the perpertrator was contemplating his attack might have detered him. Ann Arbor you get what you pay for!!!!!!! And YOUR leaders made these decisions. Wait til football season when those parties going by the kids don't get responded to until 7am when the day shift starts, and you called at 1am. Or this predator is not caught and keeps moving around. Maybe that'll get the silent majority off their butts and tell Chief Jones and the Mayor they were wrong!

John A2

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

I agree, I'm petrified and a male. I'm not afraid of being raped. What I am afraid of, is the word is out that A2 has let their guard down and they will be coming in groves to pay us a visit. Welcome Detroit to our fair city. Come and do as you please here there aren't any cops so it's a free for all. WHO-RA.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

Frankly I think you are just as safe as in any city. If you read further than the local news you will see police cuts in nearly every city. So the bad guys have no reason to come to Ann Arbor, there are police cuts in their area too, so why commute? Guards are down all over the place. Also the A2PD and UMPD have a joint operating agreement in place. If A2PD is swamped they can pick up the phone and request an officer from UM for a call that needs immediate response. A police officer has police authority in other areas and can act if requested by another officer or dept. Assisting other agencies is a common practice. So perhaps because of the presence of UMPD that makes things a little safer than in many other cities.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

Sorry, John, there are enough home-grown criminals here. It is ludicrous to think that all of our crimes are perpetrated by transients from the ghetto.

John A2

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

This serial rapist is not the first in town. What make A2 so attractive to rapists? These are very sick individuals and choose to come to our town, or are they already here. Does A2 somehow manufacture rapist?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

It happens every where. Over the decades from time to time A2 experiences something like this just like everyone else does.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

Crime isn't down; crime reports completed by the police dept are down. The mayor and city council can reduce crime to 0 by just eliminating all police, which seems to be their plan. No police: no more (reported) crime. Reporters should ask how many calls for assistance from the public the police dept has received compared to years gone by. The Police Chief can't comment freely, for many reasons. We need a news organization that will dig beyond the retoric from both sides!

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

Besides the innuendo, do you have statistics to prove this?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

You just made an unsupported statement. How do you know that crime is not down? Please provide evidence of this.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

I was driving around campus at around 11 PM last night (Saturday). This is the prime time for these attacks. I didn't see any police cars driving around. I then drove down Main Street by the stadium. There was a police car &quot;hiding&quot; in its usual spot at Main and Stadium making traffic stops. I know perception isn't always reality, but it looked really bad.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

Around 10 pm, we saw squad cars on State Street and Liberty Street. Hopefully if AAPD is being augmented by other PDs, they are around and we are not seeing them but they are in place for when the perp walks by.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

If you didn't see them you aren't supposed to.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Isnt part of the job description for a police officer to enforce traffic, which would include writing tickets? I guess if you aren't breaking the law you have no worries, let the officer do their job and find something else to complain about.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

everytime I drive around ann arbor, I see them. Even last night, one followed me for a while. So, they are around


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

Well people, since when do cops make $ 200,00 a year ? My husband NEVER made that much $$$$$ even with overtime or court time, plus all of the sleep they missed working football games etc. He doesn't make that now, NOT EVEN close to $ 75,000.oo I won't say what I think of your comments. You have no idea what it's like to be a cop, PERIOD.

Les Gov

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

&quot;He doesn't make that now, NOT EVEN close to $ 75,000.oo&quot;...that is telling...isn't it.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

a large portion of ann arbor is UofM. The uofm police take care of the area around uofm, the arb and the Huron river. Any discussion of policing in ann arbor must include them as well and furthur collaboration with them.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

Ann Arbor officials, excluding the Chief of Police, don't really care about an individuals safety. They are playing the odds that you won't be a victim. It's all about saving a buck, nothing more.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

you are sarcastic


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

How many police should we hire so that tipsy late night party goers can walk home alone down dark streets obliviously yakking on their cells phones with no risk at all? Just a ball park number from the cop union types and nervous nellies please. Ann Arbor has had problems of this sort in the 1970's and again in the 1990's. And no doubt will again sadly. Even if we could get the Governor to detail and entire Military Police company (right around 500 officers) from the Michigan Army National Guard to patrol Ann Arbor there would still be some crime. Utopias only exist in books and movies.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Sounds like you witnessed these rapes, eh?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Who is looking for utopia? How about a city where there are enough police to respond to and investigate actual crimes? Right now, there aren't enough.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

So, the mayor &quot;now&quot; doesn't want to see the police staffing levels go any lower. What's going to happen in the next two years and the city budget isn't balanced again and he needs to look for cuts? Is he going to veto water fountains? Non performing golf courses? Suspect reports of revenue creation at recycling centers? Or, will he return to his favorite chopping block, police and fire since these departments make up a huge portion of the budget? Why now suggest he doesn't want to see the police budget go any lower? What about before? This guy talks out of both sides of his neck. With a community up in arms about the leadership of the AAPD and these recent crimes whereas outsourcing to the FBI for assistance while almost admitting that there aren't enough officers to patrol the streets. Sorry Ann Arbor. Something has to give.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

The police department is already expecting cuts to its staffing levels next year of at least 10 officers.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Another source of new crime to this city, one the police are too thin to monitor, is the large number of so called medical marijuana dispensaries in this town. Since the new law did not specify what was legal seed stock, these dispensaries have been started by people who already had access to illegal sources. Consequently, these dispensaries are run by people with criminal pasts and the police are too busy to monitor their activities. One local &quot;compassionate medicine&quot; dispensary offers massages with your membership. This same dispensary was broken into, as was evidenced by their broken front door 2 weeks ago, and there was no press whatesover. Its safe to say the thieves now have a large stash of very high potency pot that could find its way to our children. The pot that these dispensaries push has very high levels of THC. It is, by federal and state standards, a very dangerous drug. What were we thinking when we passed this ballot initiative??


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

Bob, talk to someone who has tried to get or even maintain a liquor license. You'll see that selling alchoholic beverages is highly regulated. Right now, pot selling is both illegal, completely unregulated, and everywhere.

Basic Bob

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

&quot;If a liquor store decided to offer massages or free samples&quot; What would you call Happy Hour at Deja Vu? Face it, there is zero accountability for alcohol once you reach age 21.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

Bob, while I disagree completely with the alchohol vs THC comparison you make, at least alchohol is highly regulated. If a liquor store decided to offer massages or free samples, as at least one local &quot;dispensary&quot; does, it would be shut down immediately. The prescription requirement for this drug is a joke. Just go to physician Thursdays and Saturdays at the local drug lord's storefront and you'll walk away with all you need to get stoned out of your conservative mind. There are just a handful of ethically questionable &quot;doctors&quot; writing tens of thousands of prescriptions in the Detroit area. Even if you can't understand the danger of the drug, you must see the need for accountability.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

&quot;It is, by federal and state standards, a very dangerous drug.&quot; Well if the government says so, then I must believe it. Just like hard liquor vs. beer, people use less because it has high levels of THC. In fact, the dosage is far easier to control, once you fix a drink it generally gets finished.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

John, your argument was used to get the ballot initiative passed. It is however false, as, like other states where &quot;medical&quot; marijuana is legal, the new dispensaries have allowed the criminal drug rings to own legal storefronts for their activities and more easily hide their illegal activites. The semi-legal protection, combined with the lack of police resources, has also allowed these rings to provide more potent forms of the drug that most people view as harmless. There is so little oversight of these dispensaries that the drugs they are selling can not seriously be said to be more safer than street drugs. In fact their new potency makes them much more dangerous.

John A2

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

well I would be sad about it too. The fact that alcohol is the most dangerous drug, and kids have a better chance breaking into the parents bar or fridge. My friend, you might want to look at the stats on Crack and Heroin infecting our kids. Street drugs are more dangerous because there are no standards when your kid has a chunk of crack cut with what ever substances. I say make alcohol illegal or legalize all drugs. Give them away for free and save our $175 per-day cost the imprison people. The kids will have much less availability and the drugs will be monitored at injection sites. It would cost us 10-20 dollars a day to supply addicts and save more than a billion dollars a year.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Well, I'm glad Jones feels safe. Those of us with vaginas, not so much.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

I hope they catch this guy, or guys and put them in jail for a long, long time. The more of these rapists we lock up, the safer we will be. While it is fine to tell women to not walk alone at night, that is not the solution, obviously. We need to have police doing everything possible to catch them. That means having enough police.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Amen, sister.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Hefije plays the political winds with the best. Since when have you not supported cutting public safety? You have been a supporter of all the Layoffs to public safety. I hope the political winds change on your stupid Greenbelt milage. I would like to see some data on how much we are overpaying for development rights on properties no one wants to develop I develop would rather pay a public safety milage than the worthless Greenbelt.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

Maybe they should compare SOLVED crime numbers.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Aimee Metzer's reaction as a police officer is irresponsible and unbecoming of an officer. If we had more police presence on the streets, would she GUARANTEE that the rapist would be caught? No, she could not. In the 1990's it took them two years to catch a rapist when there were more police officers. Police cannot be everywhere. I find it disturbing that the police are using this issue to panic the public so that they can gain financially in their union contracts. The police should be trying to calm the public, not encourage panic. Her statement was so , so irresponsible. The feeling I get now from some (not all) of the police is that they could be purposely trying to not catch criminals so that they can make a point that they are underpaid. I'm &quot;petrified&quot; that our police are too political to do their jobs. Will they sit back and only use a half attempt at catching any criminal because it will help them financially in the long run? If so, Maybe we should get rid of some of the bad apples and hire some of the many. many police officers who have been laid off all over the detroit metro area.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

Can you really be serious when you write this: &quot;The feeling I get now from some (not all) of the police is that they could be purposely trying to not catch criminals so that they can make a point that they are underpaid. I'm &quot;petrified&quot; that our police are too political to do their jobs. Will they sit back and only use a half attempt at catching any criminal because it will help them financially in the long run?&quot; That question clearly shows that you do not know our police officers. Let me just say that the majority - close to all - of police officers and fire fighters do not go into it for the money! $55,000 is a pittance for the job. Rather, the majority of them have such an overwhelming sense of responsibility to people, to the community, to a sense of wanting things to be alright, that they do the job - for you and everyone else - even while being under attack for tying to hang onto a mediocre wage and health care.. The implications made in your statement is way off base and offensive.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

well, &quot;see&quot;.... I took it that she is petrified as are many females in the city right now, that a rapist (s) is out there and there are less cops out there. I concur. This police officer is employed by a PUBLIC other words she is employed BY US!!!!! She had darned well BETTER tell US the truth. The administration of this city has ZERO right to hide the truth or tell their employees to hide the truth from our police officers! I want MY employees...the public employees of this city....... to speak the truth. If you like things candy coated then just listen to the mayor and to the chief. Those public employees are blowing smoke.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

So seethetruth you are allowed your opinion but Aimee Metzer is not? So you believe that your perception that the police union is using this as leverage in their contract talks with the city is right? You are so way off base and insulating. Maybe Aimee Metzer knows more of the aspects of police work and what happens to the residents of Ann Arbor since she is involved in assisting them daily. When has the police union come out and said they want more money? All they are asking for is the same healthcare they currently have. They have offered concessions to save the city money but the only thing the city is interested in is HEALTHCARE to appease the residents who complain about it. So if the city was truly in a financial crisis they would agree to save money. It's just politics on the city's behalf. You say they should lay off the bad apple police officers and hire other laid off ones. Maybe the City of Ann Arbor should act like the City of Warren and propose 15% pay cuts to the city admin positions and cut off all car and phone allowances. I bet if the City of Ann Arbor lead like that, the unions would more than likely follow. In the 1990s rapist matter, the police unfortunately trusted a polygraph over a K9. How bout the attempted serial rapist from 2008 who was trying to rape and abduct women at Packard and Independence? It took the police less than a week to catch him and the police were working without a contract then as well. I guess that blows your theory of the police willing to forgo their job to get a pay increase


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

@nixon41 the city and the police union have been in contract talks over wages, benefits and staff levels for years now. If they want to scare the residents to gain more support and it helps them in their union contract, then yes I think it is irresponsible to use the rape crimes as reason for negotiation. They are using this awful situation to further themselves financially. Statements like these from police representatives make me lose confidence in the integrity of the police. She needs to separate the politics from her every day job.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

@cash What she said and how I read it is that the citizens should be petrified because we have less numbers of police and won't be able to catch this guy even though more police in the nineties did not prevent the same such crimes. She is using this situation to further her union causes by instilling panic over something she could not fix with more staffing. Her argument is to convince the citizens that everything would be different if we had more staffing. I would rather her say that using the limited staff they have they are doing eveything possible and that if they had more staff maybe they could do more. But she chooses to do panic people and try to scare then into supporting the police union stance. I completely find her statement offensive. And in any job, in every company, the worker does not have the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want, when speaking FOR the organization as an official representative of an organization. As a citizen yes, but not as the union rep of the police. Unless you are going to try and say that every single police officer feels this way. And if that is the truth then we need to hire new officers in Ann Arbor...maybe some that want to live in the city and who actually like the city and its residents.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

Where do you get off saying it will help financially in the long run. They get paid on an hourly basis. When they get off of their shift, the next one picks up. There is no overtime for them in this.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

&quot;There is no justification for her comments&quot; Really? I guess you don't see the recent rapes as justifying being petrified. Since when does being a police officer prevent you from expressing your opinion? Last time I looked we still lived in a free country.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Did she not say &quot;If I lived in Ann Arbor I would be petrified&quot;?? Was she not referring to the few police officers cut last year? Using the word &quot;petrified&quot; along with an implication that a few more police officers (not being laid off) would prevent rape or other crimes is outright irresponsible coming from a spokesman of the police department. She is inviting crime into a city by implying that her own officers cannot keep us safe in a city where crime has NOT gone up but has declined in recent years. There is no justification for her comments. She is not a blogger or commenter on a webpage, but a representative for the police. If I had a say, I would actually have her fired.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

You think your logic and fact free attack on Aimee Metzger's statements was responsible?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

first off, when they say that the reality of the situation doesn't match that of the communities perception, I say to them perception = reality. as a downtown frequenter, business owner, I can say that yes, there is more shoplifting. I used to see a cop in person on a weekly basis, even if it was just out the window. Driving around town I would see a couple cop cars along the way on daily basis. Now literally I will go weeks without seeing a cop car driving around and even longer to seeing a cop in person, even at a distance. furthermore a year ago I called 911 and it took a cop 45 mins to show up. No exaggeration, more than 40 mins, less than 50 and in the middle. He was apologetic, I didn't blame him personally as it wasn't his fault. a friend of mine called 911 a month ago, he was told no officer could come. That is what he was told by dispatch. every citizen in the situation of &quot;no one can respond&quot; has the right to call the Chief directly to complain and insist on a officer responding to your call. The Mayor and the Chief will say to there last breath there isn't a problem and stand behind their decisions, they'll never right the wrong or say cutting public safety was a mistake.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

My question to you is, what did you and your friend report when you called 911? 911 is the emergency number. I doubt A2PD would not respond that long, or not at all in re to your friend's call if you in fact reported an emergency. So forgive me for questioning that no emergency existed especially in re to your friend's call. Just because you call 911 does not mean you will get a faster response, your response will be based on the seriousness of your call. Your complaint here might carry more weight if you included what you reported not just that you called 911.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

August 2nd is your chance to show your love to members of the city council please don't let this continue! Vote them out!


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Are any of them using police staffing as a campaign issue? I hear mostly about how they stand on the high speed train.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Traditionally, the Holy Trinity of local news outlets like has been high school sports, obituaries and the police blotter. The problem here is not the crime rate, it is Records show Ann Arbor has a crime rate that approaches, oh, I don't know, the Vatican? Yet, with all its pandering to the lowest common denominator, with its hysterical screeds about medical marijuana addicts and duck slaughterers and aggressive panhandlers and hobo camps, annarbor. com consistently does its best to keep the civic pot boiling, especially amongst the easily led. And, of course, a general sense of unease among the community serves the interests of the police themselves very well, indeed, especially if it results in the re-hiring of those $200,000 a year patrol officers.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

So in YOUR view should not report crime, but hide it. If we don't talk about it, it's not there, is that it? Oh brother.

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Did you forget you had dosed already and accidentally or maybe purposely doubled up your medical marijuana ? Sure seems like it based on your ridiculous ranting above.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

If the cops had agreed to reasonable shared increases in the medical costs and pension costs , not a single cop would have been let go. The entire private sector has taken cuts across the board to keep their companies afloat and keep fellow workers employed as best they can. Public sector union workers don't give a damn about their coworkers losing their jobs. We've seen it right here as well as in the public school unions. The cops need to stop it with their rhetoric, to see why their coworkers got whacked , they need to step in front of a mirror. Good Day


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

At Mick52- Healthcare is politics. If the city would never address the health care issue in the paper, then it wouldn't be as political as it is but the city wishes to make it political. If the city would take the concessions that the unions in Ann Arbor have said they would take in order to help out with the city's budget, then it would not be political. The concessions from the unions are fiscal matters but the city does not wish to look at them as all they want is healthcare, then it is political. When a former Ann Arbor politician admits that the city is after the healthcare because some of the residents that attend ward meetings in Ann Arbor complain about the unions healthcare then it is political. Since the health care costs this year are rising at a high rate due to the new instituted requirements from the federal government, then it is political. Mick the unions have addressed concessions to the city but they do not wish to have them. They have also come up with cost cutting measures specifically with vehicle maintenance and the city will not address them. So the unions HAVE tried to come up with cost cutting measure for fiscal responsibility in order to save members jobs. I ask you this, if you know that if you give concessions and the you know the city is still going cut their staffing level, would you really take the pay cuts to be in the same position you would be in even if you took pay cuts? I do agree that the police department is top heavy. It has two deputy chiefs and one deputy chief is responsible for 95% of the department while the other one is only responsible for 5%. Does not make sense.

Les Gov

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

snoopdog you are dead on. After last week with the Jokers in Washington I think the public may have had enough with the freeloading that is going on in government. Well I hope.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

What about the article about asbestos and mold exposure?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

And again I ask,what cuts have the non union employees, including the chief,taken?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

Snoop has a point. Unions do eat their young. And Todd, we are not talking about the FD here. The healthcare debate is NOT politics, HC costs are a significant fiscal issue across the country, particularly in regard to the employer/employee split. Pensions are on the block too. They are another financial problem. The thing about concessions is that with union cooperation, perhaps fewer jobs can be cut, even if some have to. Where I fault the city is at the other end of the totem pole. I think A2 does not need a chief and two deputy chiefs, particularly at the high total compensation they make. Cash gracefully left the DCs out of the above response. That should be included in every story about cutting personnel. As usual the cuts are made at the bottom to the employees who are the ones who actually have contact with the public. Fat collects at the top too.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Oh snoopdog you sure are on the old health care rhetoric. The AAFD did give concessions and are paying more towards their pensions. Guess what? They still were cut. The healthcare debate in the city is just politics. There are a few residents who attend community meetings and complain to the politicians about healthcare so they made it their agenda to make the employees pay for it to quiet the citizens because they can not handle people complaining. Snoop, if the unions did agree to the healthcare the city wished for, they still would be cut next year. The entire private sector in the early 2000's were enjoying numerous perks and nice raises while the public sector enjoyed their nice modest raises. I never heard the public employees argue for raises like the private sector. The co-workers get whacked because politicians are politicians. And the politicians in Ann Arbor are afraid of the minority of the population who voice their displeasure


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

What cuts did Chief Jones take?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Same old noise from Chief Jones, cut my staff and you won't feel any difference. I think people are finding out differently. I would only suspect that the Chief and Mayor would defend their decisions. If crime is down why are you dedicating a senior officer to patrol the business district and only during the day? Looks like window dressing to appease the DDA. If staffing is so great then why the need for all the other agencies for the rapist (s)? I'm sure the Chief feels safe with the numbers since he lives 70 miles and two counties away from &quot;my&quot; city as he likes to call Ann Arbor.

say it plain

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

Really, doesn't it all come down to assessing more closely the issue merely touched on in the statement &quot;At this point, staffing levels would need to be nearly doubled to meet national standards&quot;?! Why do these 'national standards' exist, and why does Ann Arbor feel comfortable being so far off from them? Is it that we experience about half the crime that the average American city experiences? If not, then I'd say the city is failing to serve us appropriately. I'd rather see a real analysis of those standards and how we deviate from them than Hieftje's and Lowenstein's recollections and opinions about crime rates and their relationship with police staffing levels.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.

&quot;They say recent crimes that have hit Ann Arbor are unfortunate, but they're confident the city remains safe.&quot; &quot;Well, that turns out we didn't have any more bank robberies than we normally have...&quot; Translation: We're sorry that these horrible things happened to somebody else, but since nothing has happened to us (mayor, council members, etc...) we're confident that we're doing a good job to protect you. Obviously the citizens have a very different perspective of the situation, seeing how the people are being far more proactive than the officials, and don't think the criminals haven't noticed. With this pathetic &quot;it's going to happen anyways, so don't blame us&quot; attitude that the officials are fronting, perhaps it really is time that the people take back our streets. Anybody else miss Charles Bronson?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

Our city is headed in the wrong direction as far as staffing of the police force and the firefighting force is concerned. Police and firefighters are the Ann Arbor's best insurance for public safety. Once public safety disappears--or the perception of that changes, nothing else matter much--not the Fuller Transit Center, not the multi-level underground parking, and certainly not a proposed conference center on the library lot. Please call back, retain, and appreciate our First Responders!


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

Crime isn't down. Crimes stats are down. Perceptions is everything especially when your town is on the Today Show for have a serial rapist on the loose that you can't catch. You don't think businesses and families consider that sort of thing when they look to move? This is Roger Fraser &quot;big experiment&quot; as he called it and it FAILED. Time to put staffing levels back where they were before more people get hurt.

shadow wilson

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

Isn't the real question what happens when any of you that live in Ann Arbor need a cop and the cop does not come in a time frame we are accustomed to? Somewhat concerned writes we have enough officers.......really? so when your neighbor is being too loud or unruly or some other trouble pops up in the middle of the night how long do you think it will take the police to get there? How long did it take 15yrs ago? How about more serious crime violent crimes b&amp;e's robbery armed robbery csr break ins etc? How will response time be in those instances? Ann Arbor is safe and the cops can not without being there prevent anyone from being bad_ but as a long time resident I am used to great response time and that has likely changed due to reduced manpower.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Truth be told, crime is down in the 25+% range nation wide, mostly due to the removal of most anti gun laws and the booming numbers of concealed weapons holders. Yet again underscoring the undeniable fact the more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens = less crime. Anyone who listens to police traffic (scanners) knows the truth about crime in Ann Arbor. I've listened for years and the vast majority of crime is never in the news. I've heard some things go down that would make the front page (if AA still had a paper) as well as lead story at not a peep! On that front, I've talked to several, young men and women, in the Hill St./Olivia area that are totally oblivious to the rapist issue (I manage a rental house there). There are many moving in from out of town right now and have no way to be informed about the dangers lurking in Ann Arbor. Knowledge is power, how do we get the word out?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

I agree I've heard seen disturbing police signs in my hood in Ann Arbor before and one them was a lady out night screaming bloody murder but she was ok and this never made the news.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

I totally agree that much of A2 crime isn't reported. Home invasions, for example, don't even fit any current crime categories, so they don't get reported unless there is another &quot;crime&quot; associated with it such as burglary, robbery, assault, etc. Many many home invasions are happening all over the place and not reported and not counted in any statistics. This is just one example of underreporting. Crime is up in A2, and the politicians and UM don't want the real numbers reported. Might be bad for real estate values and recruiting to the UM.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Admittedly while the correlation of more CPL = less crime more importantly is the most definitive evidence that more CPL DOES NOT mean more crime. Coincidence? Maybe, but then the call for more gun control and admonishing of less guns in legal hands is simply wrong then isn't it?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

&quot;Truth be told, crime is down in the 25+% range nation wide, mostly due to the removal of most anti gun laws and the booming numbers of concealed weapons holders.&quot; Will you please provide evidence (sources) for your claim? Wikipedia shows the data is very unconclusive at this point. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I personally believe the &quot;feeling&quot; of additional safety that many people can feel carrying a concealed weapon is akin to that that many people feel by NOT wearing a seatbelt. Akin in that it is a FALSE sense of security. For someone who carries a concealed weapon in their purse, hand bag, coat, etc. in the chance that they will be assaulted someday is in most cases probably doing more to endanger themselves than protect themselves. In the months or years that pass after purchasing a concealed weapon that is carried around with a person, the weapon is likely more apt to become unlocked, accidentally discharged, misplaced, stolen, and even used against the carrier than it ever would be to protect the carrier. Potentially bringing great harm to the carrier, their loved ones, others, and enormous legal liability should such happen. If the victims of violent crimes (such as the recent series of sexual assualts in Ann Arbor) had been carrying hand guns with them, they are not going to be afforded the time to ask the person who just grabbed and threw them to the ground, &quot;Oh, could you kindly hold-off attacking me for a minute as I rummage through my purse to find and unlock my gun so I can shoot you....?&quot;


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

&quot;Ann Arbor only had five officers patrolling a 27 square-mile town of 100,000-plus residents. The officers fielded some 90 calls, an average of 18 each. . .when one of the calls is a woman saying she has been sexually assaulted, fondled near Community High School — which would be only the first of five sexual assaults, including two rapes, that week — those calls take time to investigate and manpower to solve.&quot; From a reporter doing a ride along. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

That was a good article on the realities of our police being stretched thin.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Perhaps could check if this figure is correct, if so then a story on patrol staffing levels is required. If a department of 120 people only has 5 officers on patrol that is a direct result of poor department structure. If your correct then only 15-20 officers per day are assigned to patrol. Obviously police departments have other assignment like detective and records officer but AAPD is far too top heavy with supervisors and has far too many desk jockys. We need more officers on the street and less supervisors sergeants and lieutenants sitting around the station cashing a pay check.

Hugh Demann

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

Metzer hit the nail on the head. Catching a predator like the rapist is done by having many eyes in the area looking for and contacting suspects matching the description and acting suspicious or by saturating the area with police after an attack to be able to catch the guy while he is trying to leave the area. Does anyone really think the decreased staffing levels do not affect the ability of the police force to do either of these? We have been hearing the city administration continually say the cuts do not effect staffing levels on the road but this is not true. Certain things must be done and now we have officers assigned to the road for the day that have to constantly pulled to take housekeeping duties. The amount of work had not changed but the amount of people needed to do it has been reduced. The amount of civilian employees at the police department has continually decreased which forces their work load to be handled by the police officers. The mayor, city council, and the police chief have been selling the citizens of the city a bill of good based on lies and half truths. They would rather have a 5 story underground parking structure built next to the library or an expensive water feature at the new city hall rather than have appropriate staffing levels in police and fire.

Jack Gladney

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

So with less staffing, crime in Ann Arbor is down. Facts be damned. What do we want? More cops! When do we want them? Looking at overall crime trends in Ann Arbor, it looks like we need one or two fewer rapists.

Somewhat Concerned

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

The problem isn't the number of officers; it's what the officers actually do when they're on duty. You could double the number of them &quot;on patrol&quot; and the only effects would be more cell phone traffic when they drive around gabbing with their windows rolled up to avoid being disturbed by outside noise such as someone calling for help, more gas wasted when they park with engines idling next to each other in parking lots to gab, and more tickets written for hapless residents who wander a little over the speed limit. They serve themselves and protect their jobs, as best they can. More of them would do more of the same, but at higher cost to you and me.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

OK, then let's get rid of all police -- sounds like your solution to me. But don't call the police when you finally need them. They won't be answering your call...


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

Are YOU policing the police,huh?


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

I think that is an unfair generalization about our police force.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

SC, your ignorance about the police is really disturbing. Not disturbing because you're ignorant, disturbing because you're ranting like you know what you're talking about. I did a ride-along with an Ann Arbor cop for 8 hours. In that 8 hours he was on the cell phone often, but not once was it a personal call. They use them to call victims, businesses, other officers, detectives, etc. Your rant is as ridiculous as: &quot;oh, he just had his lights on so he could run that red light.&quot; You have NO idea what's really going on.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

I see more people getting pulled over by U-M cops for speeding than AA cops. There's often someone pulled over on Fuller Rd. by the soccer fields.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

This has been one of my chief complaints with the AAPD too. Catching speeders on Packard &amp; Stadium on single lane traffic streets is catching fish in a barrel, especially when there is no proof that there is a large amount of accidents that would warrant these patrols. This is not a good use of their resources, unless the only reason is to general revenue.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

The mayor is still comfortable...thanks for the vote of confidence. Chief, thanks for confirming that we the people will always be the first responders to our own critical incidents. I and those like me will continue to provide for ourselves until you can assist. Thanks again to all of our (remaining) hard working officers.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Now, if only they'd stop standing in our way. Being that nearly half of AA is designated a weapon-free zone, it's obvious they're not actually interested in our role as first responders.

The Watchman

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:23 a.m.

One of the department's senior officers is now assigned to regularly patrol the downtown, Jones said, and another assists on occasion when resources are available. Chief, would you consider once every 2 weeks regular? There hasn't been two officers assigned to the &quot;downtown beats&quot; in months. Routinely the department runs with less officers than is required for staffing levels. You know of what you speak.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

AAPD has two deputy chiefs. A department of this size does not need two DCs. Their pay is high and I believe they receive a car allowance. Odd I think that the guys who can most afford any car they want due to their pay also get a company car.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:15 a.m.

...recent police AND fire cuts should never have happened. The problem the council created is taking away operational flexibility for emergency response and special crimes for police and fire. What if our crime goes up? What is the plan? What happens when police are needed for a major incident? What are the numbers available to respond? Crime statistics -- many victims of crime know their assailants and police respond to gather evidence. I don't know for sure, but that might be the majority of crime statistics occurring in Ann Arbor. Then there are street crimes where criminal opportunists take advantage of a lack of police presence because they feel they will not get caught. If Ann Arbor street crime continues, visitors will stay away. Let's take back the streets. Let's support our public safety workers who are dedicated to a safe community. Let's look, listen, pay attention, and intervene when someone needs help. When the police arrive, we will have made their job a little easier.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

I say amen to the above statements -- with the cuts already made and with council looking at further cuts, they are putting our marvelous city at risk. It just seems to appear that the mayor and city council does not wish to listen to the voices of the citizens that pay to keep the city safe. Please listen.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

I've talked at length to a number of police officers and they all share Aimee Metzer's point of view that current staffing levels leave them spread way too thin covering way too large a geographic area of the city during their shifts. The size of the areas where there is one officer patrolling seem quite large to me too, based on what they are telling me. Asking the police why reported crimes are done, they believe that it is because with fewer police on the beat, citizens are not reporting as many of the crimes that are occurring. People are less likely to call 911 or drive to police HQ to report a crime than to flag down a patrol car or a foot patrol. Fewer reported crimes don't mean that there are fewer crimes in actuality. As a long time downtown resident, I agree with Bob Dascola's observation that the perception of safety downtown has deteriorated in recent years. I went to city council before the recent cut backs where they fired more police (and eliminated more firefighters) and pled for them not to do it, noting my concerns. I continued to be disappointed that does not report on the fact that there are numerous level 4 registered sex offenders living at the homeless shelter downtown (ten of the most serious kind the last I looked into it). The number of bunko artists lurking around downtown is at an all time high.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

Talk about trying to defend poor leadership and bad decision-making! If the NUMBER of crimes is down, we will cut the employees that got that number down. This is the management style at AAPD and the mayor's office. &quot;Jones said he can emphatically say that Ann Arbor remains a safe community&quot; it any wonder TPTB never let this guy speak to the media? The things that come out of his mouth.................. Let me just say that I pray one of the recently attacked females in this &quot;safe community&quot; doesn't read that! Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

The number of police officers do not have much if any affect on crime stats. In fact as you increase the number of police officers, often the crime rate goes up. That is because good police officers increase the numbers with reports they self initiate. Many years back there was a study done in St Louis while crime was up. The experiment focused on a particular area. When more officers were assigned to that area, the numbers of crimes increased due to the expanded presence of the officers. When the number of officers decreases I expect to see some decrease in statistics.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 10:32 a.m.

Bottom line ..the last round of police cuts should never have happened.