Recent incident demands action and accountability for our public safety
A recent incident allegedly occurred on June 4th when an underage girl was admitted into Engine 40 sometime after 8pm. Engine 40 is located near the intersection of Dexter and Ewald Circle. This girl was allegedly sexual assaulted by more than one of the on duty firefighters. After the allegedly assault, the girl was carried outside in the rain. Reportedly at some point a cab was called, however the cab arrived but the driver refused the girl as a passenger. One of the firefighters then reportedly called an acquaintance who when arriving drove the girl away. Its unknown where she was taken. This remains a allegation that deserves an open investigation.
This incident was reported to the upper leadership of the DFD who are aware of the allegations. The members of Engine 40 were reportedly ordered to submit letters to the commissioner on what occurred by the upper leadership of the DFD. Standing policy for the DFD is to report all rule violations immediately. This means that not only did the incident not get reported when it occurred but the policy of no visitors after 8pm was also broken and thus the official procedures were not followed.
This firehouse is also the station accused of stealing a wallet (early 2011) during a response to an emergency. This firehouse was accused of stealing a child’s toy (game boy, several years ago) under a Christmas tree when responding to a call during the holidays. Clearly there are some unresolved issues regarding discipline, ethics, and professional conduct in addition to an apparent history of criminal behavior.
In the past, these and other victims of abuses by the DFD were allegedly compensated by the Fire Department. This practice, if true, is a violation of the city charter, the city policies and would be hidden from the city council who must vote on any such expenditure. Further, this practice would be a violation of the law. Lacking any legal justification and be the same as stealing by government officials. How many payouts could occur in this manner without official record. The local prosecutor and the state attorney general should investigate any expenditures of funds in this manner.
These incidents call for a complete review of the entire leadership team of the DFD. Two senior executives were recently replaced but the problems continue. If a group of DFD chiefs are not responsible, then this is a problem within the Bing administration. The citizens of Detroit deserve to have a well run, free of corruption public safety department. We need to feel safe when we call 911 to get help. We should not fear for our possessions nor fear for our own safety from those who are paid to help.