The department says its traffic unit will evolve its mission "toward the prevention of crimes."

The city of Detroit has contracted with the Manhattan Institute and the Bratton Group to teach the Detroit Police Department how to employ a New York City-style stop-and-frisk program, the Detroit News reports. A contract the city issued to the two firms says that "the DPD Traffic Unit (will) evolve its mission from principally the issuance of tickets toward the prevention of crimes." 

Since a federal judge ruled New York's stop-and-frisk policies unconstitutional last week, it's no huge surprise that DPD officials are preemptively defending the program: 

Detroit Police Assistant Chief Eric Ewing said the campaign is an extension of a longstanding practice.

“We’re already a stop-and-frisk agency; we’ve been doing it for years,” he said. “That’s just another way to say ‘proactive policing.’”

Ewing said Detroit police don’t specifically target minorities, but can’t avoid stopping them in a city populated mostly by African-Americans. “I can understand everyone’s concern about profiling, but Detroit’s population is mostly African-American, so of course we’re going to stop more black people,” Ewing said. “That’s not racial profiling; that’s just good police work.”

Stop-and-frisk definitely falls under the very broad category of "proactive policing," but does that really mean the DPD has long been doing what the NYPD has been doing? The News doesn't say. While citizen groups are already raising concerns, it's unlikely the department will experience much pushback outside of a court ruling. The civilian oversight board designed to keep the DPD in check has been "curtailed" by Detroit's emergency manager. 

Top image: Rebecca Cook/REUTERS

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet

    How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.

  2. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  3. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  4. Transportation

    Europe's Intercity Bus Juggernaut Is Rolling Into the U.S.

    Flixbus is like the Uber of long-haul road travel. Could it reboot the American coach business?

  5. A collage of postcards and palms trees of the Florida shore
    Environment

    The Archaeologists Saving Miami's History From the Sea

    As the water level rises, more than 16,000 historic sites across Florida are at risk of being drowned by waves. In Miami-Dade County, researchers are working to keep history on solid ground.