Questions swirl after email calling for slashing of Detroit police overtime surfaces

Questions surround the elimination of police officer overtime was apparently just lost in translation. 

This happened when emails went to Detroit police officers with words like 'mandate' and 'eliminate.' But Chief James Craig says the word he used was manage - and when it comes to the safety of the people.

Like any department in any city or company there are budgets that must be kept too. The Detroit Police Department is no exception. 

"The department has to run within budget, they are doing a great job," said Mayor Mike Duggan.

There was concern, especially from the police union when inter-department emails were sent Monday seemingly instructing mandatory cuts to overtime - and saying the issue was city-wide. 

"We just put another $10 million into the police department," Duggan said. "You'd have to ask Chief Craig about it. I haven't seen the email."

So FOX 2 asked Detroit Police Chief Craig. 

"What we did talk about this morning was managing overtime," he said. "So in other words, commanders and precincts making regular assessments. Clearly what you read to me is not accurate."

Police union President Mark Diaz says he knows of at least two precincts which received emails with words like "mandatory" and "elimination" when it came to overtime.
And Diaz took it right to the source. 

"I have been working with the chief to get this matter resolved and get the word out that there is no mandate that eliminates overtime," he said.

"It didn't come from my office, I talked to assistant chief over at neighborhood policing,” Craig said. "He never said that. so, whoever put that out, did so inaccurately."

As far as public safety is concerned, the union president has the utmost confidence in Craig based on his track record. 

"He has never once ever come across as not putting the citizens and the officers first," Diaz said. "I can't think that this is one of the times that would change that."

"This is about fiscal responsibility, managing overtime, tax payer dollars, nothing more," Craig said. "But not at the expense of public safety."

They all just want to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

"(We're) going to keep a close eye on it," Diaz said. "And make sure that we keep up our duty to protect and serve."