Public Safety

I am committed to a safe, comfortable Ypsilanti for all residents. We all know the problems that have been happening nationally. Police violence against members of targeted groups is a shameful pattern that we must all deplore. Ypsilanti must not be part of that problem, we must be part of the solution. 

  • Focus police resources on public safety and away from:

    • Nuisance offenses

    • Nonviolent drug offenses

    • Immigration enforcement

  • Sensitivity training and a thoughtful use-of-force policy for city police; Police Advisory Commission; support/review policy for use of body-cams

  • Ordinance enforcement a priority through SeeClickFix

  • Maintain/enhance Sanctuary City status


Positive aspects of our public safety progress towards that goals include:

  • 1. A Police Advisory Commission consisting of community members. This newly formed commission will act as both a buffer and a community conduit for the police department. In addition to being available to community members for support if needed, the commission will also review appropriate policies and work with the department for continuous improvement

  • 2. A commitment to body cameras: During budget discussions last year, it was proposed to remove the expense of body cameras. I am proud to say that it failed unanimously. Secondly, our police just invested into a better, higher quality camera system with a higher rating and track record of use in the field.

  • 3. A policy of use of force only in extreme situations. Time and time again, when I read the reports of difficult or charged interactions between police and community members, I see that our officers use many other methods of resolving a situation before resorting to force whenever possible. 


Challenges to making further progress:

1. Due to budget cuts, our police and fire staffing have been at extremely low, bare minimum levels. With low numbers and a higher than average crime level, our police department answers twice the number of calls as in our surrounding communities. This leads to stress, low morale, and low crime solving levels. Despite this situation, our officers do an excellent job.


2. Aging infrastructure: Our buildings, equipment, training, all are in need of attention and support. Long term budget shortfalls have left us stretching our staff and equipment long past the optimum. We make the good creative use of the resources at our disposal and seek opportunities to secure funding to improve the situation. 


3. The ideal is Community Policing. Community Policing means the officers live in the community, know the citizens, the neighborhoods, patterns, and what to expect. Community Policing requires large numbers of officers which we do not have at this time. 


4. Michigan has a weak mental health system due to years of cutting programs and closing treatment facilities for people in need of mental health services. The net result has been to push mentally ill people onto police, prison, and homeless shelter systems. Our police need ongoing training and support to respond to interactions appropriately and safely for all. Thanks to the county millage that was just recently passed, we have an opportunity to increase the training and skills of our officers as they work with this population.


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