“Virtual Precincts”: Detroit Closes Police Stations To Public At Night


Detroit police precincts and district stations will no longer be open to the public 24 hours a day, reports the Detroit Free Press. Starting Monday, the facilities will close to the public from 4 p.m. until 8 a.m. Several job assignments — including report clerk, desk clerk, law enforcement information network operator, security officer, timekeeper, and vehicle and building maintenance officers — will be eliminated. The purpose of the plan, officials said, is to get more officers from behind a desk and onto the street.

“I think it’s going to work,” Detroit police Cmdr. Steve Dolunt said. “I think it’ll get the officers more involved” with citizens. Organizational changes will occur as the department moves forward in the development of so-called virtual precincts. During the hours the precincts and districts are closed to the public, they will each remain staffed by a supervisor and another person, as well as those handling prisoners. Some residents and community leaders have been critical of the plan, voicing concerns about police stations being closed, at any time, to the public. Minister Malik Shabazz, a community activist, said residents should be able to go to the police station when they need to.

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