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Detroit chief signs order to beef up reserves

Reservists will help out with special details like traffic control, and conduct foot patrols

By George Hunter
The Detroit News

DETROIT — Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, faced with the prospect of fewer officers because of the city's financial crisis, has taken the rare step of implementing a special order requiring anyone applying for a job with the Police Department to first serve as a volunteer reserve.

The city's 2012-13 budget, which takes effect when the fiscal year begins on July 1, will slash $75 million — or 18 percent — from the police department's $414 million budget, resulting in the elimination of 380 positions from the force of about 2,600 through attrition and early retirement.

Godbee last month signed the order requiring job candidates to serve in the Detroit Police Reserves until the department begins hiring again. The initiative, called the Enhanced Reserve Program, will free up sworn officers to respond to more serious runs, Godbee said.

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