DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit police officers are dedicated to protecting the residents of Detroit but the police officers' union say it's hard when there simply are not enough officers to do the job.
"The numbers of officers leaving the city of Detroit are staggering," said Mark Diaz.
About 117 officers have left the department since the beginning of the year. Diaz, the president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, explains why.
"It's a simple answer," he said. "And the answer is benefits and wages. That is why officers are leaving Detroit to go work in other police departments because other departments are offering higher pay and better benefits."
Starting salary for a Detroit police officer is $36,000. Diaz gave us an example of a DPD officer going to another department for significantly more money.
"That officer is going from a base salary with Detroit of $57,000 to $78,000, which is his base pay," Diaz said. "So, fiscally speaking it makes absolute sense for that officer to leave."
Diaz says everyone suffers when there are not enough officers on the streets.
"Our officers are facing a great deal of burn out from being fatigued," Diaz said. "And working crazy hours. It is not uncommon for an officer to work more than a 16-hours shift, just as a means of compensating for the lack of manpower.
"We want to keep providing the best protection for all our visitors and citizens but we need help from the mayor’s office."
The police officers’ union is currently in discussions with the city.
"It's time to dig into the pockets and find more money so we can retain our police officers here," Diaz said.
"On behalf of the citizens of Detroit, I'm more than hopeful, I'm prayerful to be honest."