High-ranking Detroit police officials say a restructuring plan by Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings is an end-around means to disband their union, reports the Detroit Free Press. Some union members appeared in court Friday in an effort to halt the demotions of 14 inspectors and four commanders, which came the previous day. Laura Isom, president of the Detroit Police Command Officers Association, accused Bully-Cummings of union busting. Isom, an inspector for 18 years, was among those demoted to lieutenant. Seven of the 10 board members of the union were demoted.
James Tate, a department spokesman, replied: “This was all about efficiency, and we wanted to find people who were the most talented in crime fighting. And that’s what we did.” Bully-Cummings announced the restructuring plan Monday, which includes laying off 150 officers. Her plan also calls for collapsing the 12 police precincts into six districts, which will be headquartered in five current precinct buildings. A new building is to open later this year in southwest Detroit.