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Posted on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Ann Arbor police officer who caught Dream Nite Club shooter among those facing layoff

By Ryan J. Stanton


Ann Arbor Police Officer Brad Rougeau, far left, protests outside of city hall today with about two dozen officers and residents concerned about impending cuts to public safety. Rougeau risked his life to apprehend a shooter outside the Dream Nite Club last month and was told two days later he was losing his job effective July 1.

Ryan J. Stanton |

When gunshots rang out near the Dream Nite Club last month, Ann Arbor Police Officer Brad Rougeau was already on the scene — and he risked his life to catch the shooter.

Two days later, he received a pink slip from the city and was told he'd be losing his job effective July 1 due to city budget cutbacks.

That move prompted him to join an informational picket before tonight's City Council meeting to inform the public about the impending layoff of four officers on July 1.

Rougeau, standing in front of city hall, told his story at the picket organized by the Ann Arbor Police Officers Association.

"My partner and I were on patrol in front of the club because we know there's frequently fights and parties there at closing time," he said. "And just after 2 a.m., we heard gunshots."


Aimee Metzer

As he went to radio for backup, Rougeau said there was another volley of gunshots. In fact, the man shooting into the crowd ran right in front of his patrol car.

"I got out of the car, ordered him to drop the gun. He looked at me, and took off running," said Rougeau, who chased down the 20-year-old suspect and apprehended him with the assistance of a state police trooper behind the Beer Depot on East William Street.

Rougeau was one of about two dozen officers and residents who gathered to protest cuts to public safety services.

"I feel like I come to work every day and I give 110 percent and it just comes down to numbers," said Rougeau.

In all, 13 positions in the police department are being cut as the city heads into its next fiscal year.

"Nine years ago we had 191 sworn officers and now we're going down to 118 July 1, and it's just time to take a stand and say we're tired of it," said Aimee Metzer, acting union president.

"I think the misconception with City Council and the rest of the citizens is that we can still maintain the same services, and we just can't anymore," she said. "We're just too thin and we cannot maintain the same services and get to calls on time. We're already at an anemic level."

The union also claims city officials want to lay off all 21 city dispatchers and outsource the work to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office. But city officials say consolidation of dispatch services with the county is still being worked out and for now only two dispatchers are being laid off through the budget cuts slated to take effect July 1.

The union argues further reductions to the police department will affect response times and negate a proactive police presence in Ann Arbor.


Elizabeth Patten, an Ann Arbor resident and patrol officer, was among those protesting today.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Metzer said the cuts are hard to stomach when the union sees the city engaging in "wasteful spending." She points to the fact that the City Council voted to give $1.2 million to nonprofit human services agencies as an example of the city's misplaced priorities.

"It's basically time to embrace safety services as something that's necessary and something that the residents of Ann Arbor deserve and need," she said.

Elizabeth Patten, an Ann Arbor resident and patrol officer with the department, stood along Huron Street with her son, Andrew, holding a sign that read: "Stop the bleeding — no more cuts." She said she considers the staffing levels, particularly the number of officers on patrol, "dangerously low" — to the point where many times the department isn't able to handle more than one serious incident at a time.

"I'm concerned for both us as employees in the emergency services, as well as those of us who live here and rely on them," she said.

"When you actually see how low we are during the day, what the response times are, when we're getting help out, it scares me," she added.

Police Chief Barnett Jones, who hasn't returned multiple phone calls by in the last two weeks, has consistently said he'll find a way to move officers away from desk jobs to maintain patrol numbers. But union members believe the city's administration has perpetuated a misconception that there's not going to be any drop in services.

Rougeau, for instance, works in the department's Crime Response Unit, a proactive policing unit that works to reduce serious crimes like robbery, rape and home invasion.

"And we're also primarily responsible for fugitive apprehension, so when the bad guys need to be found, it's our job to go out and find them," he said. "Our unit is going to lose one position and that will not be refilled."

Tom Crawford, interim city administrator, relayed a written statement when asked about the city's decision to go ahead with the cuts. City officials note the police officers union could stop the four officer layoffs by agreeing to share more of the cost of their health insurance, but the union has been unwilling to budge, citing health concerns related to the condition of city hall.

"The city has talented and dedicated employees serving the citizens of Ann Arbor each day and has not pursued this course that results in layoffs with any enthusiasm," he said. "The fact is the city needs to reduce its cost of providing health care to all employees, and that includes police, in order to meet its financial constraints."

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.



Fri, Jul 1, 2011 : 10:50 a.m.

It would be helpful to the public if you listed the names, ranks, years of service and salaries of those laid off.


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

I agree with Mick52 - start from the top. Ann Arbor is too small to have 2 deputy chiefs!!!


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Too bad his union insists on layoff by seniority. He sounds like a good cop done in by his union "brothers".

Bertha Venation

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

oooo! Don't EVEN get me started on THIS one!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

To officer Rougeau, I feel for you. This must have made you just sick to your stomach. There's a person in the Customer Service division of the Water Utilities Department that makes over $90K to basically be the Public Service Administrators latchkey. This position could be eliminated and have those resources of income (wage and benefits) averted to an officer. What? Can't move money from an enterprise fund? Happens all the time with this city.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

@SnoopDog.... Do you attend council meetings? Last night, Rapundalo 'praised' a police union (of 5 members) for making concessions. Let's remember now, the city kept telling the papers that employees could save the city tons of money by working with them. Workers needed to help the city, etc. They accepted a 4 year pay freeze, accepted the city healthcare, gave more towards pension, and gave up one of their matching options. I believe there were a couple others. When a council member asked, point-blank, to Tom Crawford, how much did this save the city... there was no answer. So for all this grandstanding about how workers are carrying this on their backs and need to help, there's absolutely no follow up to what the net savings is. And you expect everyone to keep giving and giving? How about you get on your soap box and start complaining about the city's spending and spending? And before anyone says, "Oh, but it was only 5." Right... and the ENTIRE FD gave and got stabbed in the back. Now the PD is 'dipping their tow in the pond' so to speak, to see what the city says. What they said was, "We don't know what that saved us." Thanks Crawford. That's just the answer I expect from a CFO... at least one in Ann Arbor.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

As unfortunate as it is, in a union "shop" senioriy trumps merit everytime (just like joke that tenure is in the teaching world). If lay offs do actually occur it would not be out line, that since most or all of those layed off will be officers that Sgts and Lt's should be demoted to Officers and Sgt's level to keep the ON PATROL staffing levels. Additionally this would also show an additional wage savings as Sgt's and Lt's tend to make a pretty penny more than a road officer. If there are fewer officers on patrol it only makes sense that there is little need for as many in command level staffing. Unfortunately when it comes to govt entities there are only two ways to work on fixing a budget. 1) Increase revenue (ie taxes) or 2) decrease spending (easiest way is with personel cuts, other ways are cutting take home cars for dept heads, cutting cell phone service, cutting parks and rec etc).


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

@snoopdog Do you really think anyone in the city government would trust the city during these times? Let's look at the Fire Department who stepped up to the plate and was the first union to help out the city with wage concessions and pension enhancement. They are still going to be cut even though they did exactly what the city wanted. Good old Roger Fraser talked about not cutting the unions that agree to cuts and the Fire Department stepped up and did that. They were cut back then and are going to be cut again. City employees are not dumb and know what the city will do. Unfortunately the city has no creadibility with most of its employees. Take for example the recent press release about Ann Arbor dispatchers. The city promised it's employee's when the city was going to co-share a dispatch center with WCSD that they would not go to a central dispatch. And now look at the city. If the police union accepts the "reasonable cuts" to pension and health care as you say, do you really believe the city will not layoff Brad at another point and time?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

I suggest that Brad talk to his fellow police officers and his union bosses and ask them to accept reasonable cuts to pension and healthcare so he can keep his job. Good Day


Wed, Jun 22, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

I can't think of any profession, both police and fire department, that doesn't deserve their pension or healthcare more. They risk their lives and deal with very difficult situations. Can't we make cuts elsewhere? Why isn't the budget made public and let us tax payers decide where to make cuts?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

I ask again, expecting no answer because I never get one, what sacrifice have you made to help bring down our government debt/deficits?

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

I feel very badly about the impending lay offs and I do think we need every officer. Not good business at all.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

pls note: this happens in the summer when so many are out of town or just plan not interested in city govt.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

we dont need any cops. mayor hieftje says we dont have any real crime. and we dont need all the fire department workers either because we dont have that many serious fires ever. and we also have the U security force to rely on. dont you remember what hieftje said a couple of months ago? i also believe in the easter bunny and think that the smiling happy flying pigs i see after a second martini are real.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

Call Grover Norquist and thank him for drowning the govt in the bathtub.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

The largest police departments in the country all have reserve officers. Does AAPD have a reserve officers corps, and if not, why not?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

They don't.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

"She points to the fact that the City Council voted to give $1.2 million to nonprofit human services agencies as an example of the city's misplaced priorities." The tax payers of Ann Arbor can take care of the charities of their choice. Their city council should be using our tax dollars for essential government functions. If we have a budget issue we should stop all things like this now. Only by making bold and smart cuts can we stop down ward spiral!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

Fear not, citizens of Ann Arbor! As we all know how well Reganeconomics has worked since the 1980s, Rick Synder has got us covered! See, all those tax breaks to businesses means that they will start providing private security for us! Instead of Government wasting money on Police Officers, Firemen, EMTs, and Teachers, we will give that money to the large corporations! Remember, it was the teachers who caused the recession in the first place! The Teachers Union voted in 2007 to crash the housing market!


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

Exactly what Grye said. Synder was handed a terrible fiscal situation from the former administration(s) (just like obama, but hey its all bush's fault right LOLOLOL). How can you blame Snyder (or anyone outside of Ann Arbor adminstration) for anything that has happened in Ann Arbor? Ann Arbor is very poorly mismanaged and has been for decades, otherwise they would not be where they are right now.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.

You going to blame Snyder for the lack of a city tax base, the unneeded city building, the all necessary fountain, etc.? Mismanagement by city officials is not Snyder's doing. Put the blame where it should be. Quit blaming the governor for something for which he had no input.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 11:15 a.m.

One can't help but be struck by the irony of life in the U.S. today. The development and expense of Homeland Security following 9/11 because the percieved need for greater preparedness and resources to combat terrorist attacks, including those of the local nature. Terrorist attacks seem to be talked about only in terms of "muslims", but in reality, any crime terrorizes its victims. We have plenty of local crime going on and a diminishing of our resources both in terms of police and fire fighters. We are spending millions and millions of dollars on Homeland Security but can no longer afford our local protections. Hopefully someone is actively being the responsible person(s) in determining what are safe levels of police and fire personnel numbers and what levels would endanger the lives of the community and is not being political about their assessment.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 10:20 a.m.

Brings to mind an old cowboy song, "the disgruntled texas ranger': "....we'll no more defend you; to god we'll commend you; and the frontiers of texas we'll bid a farewell"


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:32 a.m.

If you hear something go bump in the night have the balls to check on it yourself and not call the police. Start helping yourself out more. If your dying drive yourself to the hospital don't call for help, help your self be a good neighbor. Help Out By Saving Money / City.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

What are the police and fire department budgets today compared to 10 years ago? In 2000 the city had 210 sworn officers, and now we are dwindled to nearly half that. I'm curious, is the city income really half of what it was 11 years ago? I guess I just don't know what to think about this. It's maddening, frustrating, - Here we are spending all sorts of money on parks and art, which I know in theory can make the city more attractive and perhaps bring in more income, but come on. So we're willing to talk about an increased tax to shift sidewalk repair to the city (after I already paid to fix mine when the city told me to, thank you very much), so victims can try to flee with less risk of tripping when they are running from a mugger? Is this really where the cuts have to come, and do they really need to be cut this deep? Over the course of 11 years, we will have gone from around 1.8 officers per thousand citizens, to almost an even 1 per thousand??? The national average for this size city seems to be around 2 to 2.3 officers per thousand, so it sounds like we were already below average before the cuts even started. How low are we going to try and push this?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

Risk your life. Take a pay cut. Be treated like a servant. They should all quit and let you fend for yourselves.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Solution FIRE the mayor, half of city council, and MOST definetley FIRE Tom Crawford. TADAH!!! Problem solved. Id trade Tom Crawford, the mayor and a few council members for all the officers and fire fighters. Now thats a sensible budget cut. :)


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

Political pressure to get Ann Arborites to PAY MORE TAXES... It's blatantly obvious at this point, the majority voted for this leadership, whats the problem people?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 5:01 a.m.

Whos asking for more taxes? It's about fiscal responsibility. Spend what you need. And dont spend on what you dont. Just because you elected someone means they make the right decisions.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:55 a.m.

CORRECTION - $53,000 for dispatcher pay.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

This is worth repeating - because Ann has not challenged the city for answers to these questions... Let's ask the Chief why he just hired a SECOND secretary - yet he's laying off police and 911 dispatchers? Is the new secretary going to answer 911 phones or strap a gun on her side? The dispatch co-location between Wash Co. Sheriff and A2 Police was a rouse...long term dedicated Ann Arbor employees were used as pawns and are now being kicked to the curb - lives are being destroyed. Barnett Jones and Jerry Clayton have pulled off a political powerplay. They look good, the MAYOR wins, BUT the citizens loose BIG! -- FOIA the Ann Arbor FD contract that took their dispatching to HVA. A police/fire dispatcher costs the City $53,0000 per year - but just the START up costs to set up AAFD dispatching up with HVA was almost a 1/2 million dollars.. .not to mention that the City (AAFD) is billed everytime HVA dispatches to them. HOW is this a savings???? start being journalists...investigate and report! The CITY is giving you kool-aid. Keep drinking and when you feel like it's time to upchuck - it will be too late.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Hey, can we sell the new fountain to pay for an officer or two? How about naming rights to the new library garage? The air rights over the lot (Oh, I forgot, we turned that development down)? How about letting Alex De Parry do City Place in return for early taxes?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:18 a.m. just had a great article today on how the City of Ann Arbor pays hundreds of thousands dollars in cellular phone allowances to city officials and workers. Let's cut out cell phone allowances and bring back some public safety personnel

Mr. Ed

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

It's simple the Union needs pay cuts and benefits cut to save jobs. We the tax payer are broke.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:33 a.m.

Why not just admit it and say your like parks and art more than police. Because I don't hear you complaining about wasteful spending in those areas. You're a hippocrate if you dont. If it's only about you and your taxes I'd be more concerned with spending that's non essential.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

Where did the shooting take place? Reports say the shooting took place at 2:27 am in the United States Federal Post Office parking lot that AAPD is suppose to protect. Reports say there were 30 to 40 cars illegally parked in the Federal Parking Lot, their are signs posted all over the parking lot that clearly says No Parking! Reports say that the shooters both had CCW permants and they went to their cars and got the weapons ,out of their vechicles that were illegally parked on Federal Property


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

"Police arrested the 20-year-old man after he fired at least two shots and left the parking lot on South Fourth Avenue about 2 a.m., Lt. Mark St. Amour said." Only one of them could have had a CPL. You have to be 21 years old.

John A2

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

I love the idea of not having enough officers protecting our community. All the thugs just waiting for the cat to go away for the mice can play. I'm kidding, and I believe it's the most stupid idea ever, for a city and big ten college town to take officers off duty when we are suffering with financial problems and there being many, many desperate people here willing to do what every they can to get bye. More alcohol related crimes too because it's a proven fact that when people are financially hurting they go to the bottle. HEY YOU "WAKE UP".


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

118 officers still sounds like alot to me...would you rather have parks and other amenities suffer? i'm in favor of adminstrative pay cuts and i understand union negotiations are targeting this and pension changes as well. I'm in favor of public safety cutbacks as long as employees can be assigned in ways that maintain public safety...seems to me like things are working out fine so far.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Get with it voters..Vote in a Democrat & EVERYBODY/City goes broke. Look @ OH, Ill.,Det.,etc. All Democratic controlled cities.( AMERICA) What does this tell you. WALE UP, America!!!!!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

"would you rather have parks and other amenities suffer" Yes!

Big B

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Remember, police services are needed 24 hours a day. If our officers work 40 hours a week, that averages out to just about 28 officers on duty at any given time. Probably skews a bit to have more during the day. And that's not taking into account their administrative duties, court appearances, sick/vacation leave etc... To me, that's scary low staffing considering Ann Arbor's population of nearly 114,000 people. We're no metropolis, but according to this link, the 25 largest cities in the US average 29 full time officers per 10,000 people. We'll now be at about 10. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

There will be 118 police officers but 157 parks in Ann Arbor. As an Ann Arbor resident I'd switch those two numbers in a heartbeat! Parks before police (and fire)? No thank you!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

Let me ask a question. When your house is being robbed and there is no cop around what are you going do, go to the park and ask a rec department employee to help you?

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

It's my understanding the city would need to more than double staffing levels in police to meet national standards.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

What makes you say that things are working out fine so far? Response time is down, we have one officer chasing an armed suspect by himself and they are planning more lay-offs? YES, I would rather see our parks suffer.


Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

Odd I think that when cuts are made, it is the positions at the bottom of the totem pole that get cut first. Those employees, here police officers and dispatchers, are those who have the most contact with the citizens and are the ones who have the most contact with the public when they provide service. I would suggest looking at the top of the totem pole for the first cuts. Does the city need two deputy chiefs in addition to a chief?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

Why would you think that is odd? It's the union way. If you think this is wrong, then the union needs to go.