Students and cars, a lethal mix

A police officer pulls over a student leaving Oakland International Academy High School. Residents in the area have been complaining of reckless driving by the teens when they leave school.



By Charles Sercombe
For the past year, an after-school ritual has played out in the neighborhood of Brombach near Evaline.
At about 3 p.m. some male students leaving Oakland International Academy High School hop in their cars and speed off down Brombach.
It’s a wild scene with drivers squealing their car wheels, honking at each other and racing.
“I’m surprised no one has been killed,” said one neighbor who asked not to be identified.
Another neighbor, Angel Salatrik, said residents are “beyond frustrated and are worried for the kids coming home from school, who have to cross the street.”
She added that “I wish the cops would sit on Brombach daily at 2:45 to 2: 55 p.m. and give tickets out to these dangerous drivers.”
Some of the students even got aggressive with a Review reporter, pulling over and giving the reporter the finger.
Police Chief Anne Moise said her department is aware of the complaints.
“We have been monitoring the traffic situation on Brombach for quite some time and try to have officers there during peak times as much as possible,” Police Chief Anne Moise told The Review.
This week and last week, residents had their concerns answered. Police officers were seen each day pulling over students. Moise said during the past several days over 100 traffic tickets were issued in that area.
“This should be a reminder to all, especially young drivers about the dangers of reckless driving habits and excessive speeds,” Moise said. “Afterall, the speed limit in Hamtramck is 25 mph for almost all of the city.”
Hamtramck is not alone with teenage drivers menacing the streets. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in this country.
According to the CDC, in 2016 over 2,400 teens died from car accidents, and almost 300,000 were injured.
Why are teens such dangerous drivers?
Inexperience is the main reason, and when you combine that with immaturity, speeding, drinking, and texting while driving, it’s a lethal combination.

Feb. 15, 2019

Edited for clarity on Feb. 17,, 2019

9 Responses to Students and cars, a lethal mix

  1. Guest

    February 15, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Proactive vs. Reactive
    Learn from Garbarino

  2. Joe Quinn

    February 16, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    “……pulling over and giving one reporter the finger.”

    I wonder if that conduct may have been intended as a commentary on the content of the Hamtramck Review?

    “……texting while driving and drinking, its a lethal combination”.

    Yeah, teenagers should always refrain from texting while drinking – definitely lethal.

    “Learn from Garbarino”.

    Is Max still a patrolman up in Eastpointe?

  3. Fatema Hossain

    February 17, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Try to have officers there “as much as possible”?

    What does that mean, Chief Moise?

    If one officer was present in that ten-minute time period, none of the reckless driving Angel Salatrik referred to would have happened. That simple.

    Maybe if the city hired a security guard with a video camera to patrol that area when students let out the outrageous student behavior would be alleviated?

  4. Skip Hartmann

    February 17, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    This article begs the question of where in the heck have been local police patrols the last several years?

    The stories of rampant careless speeding in residential side streets has been covered extensively in local media.

    ANSWER: The last I checked only 27 active full-time officers work for the Hamtramck Police Department.

    Of that total maybe six are detectives who do not patrol city streets.

    Of that 27 maybe three more work in administration at the P.D. and do not actively patrol within city limits.

    Also of the 27, several more – likely 3 or 4 – have been deployed on special assignment to multi-jurisdictional units that largely work outside Hamtramck – this would include drug and auto theft special units. The auto theft unit that Hamtramck had been a member of was disbanded a few years ago.

    The special assignment officers are so deployed due to the fact that the City of Hamtramck derives a significant revenue stream that the city relies upon in its budget due to the city’s membership in those multi-jurisdictional units.

    This has not been without controversy. One Hamtramck P.D. officer assigned to a DEA task force was convicted in federal court several years ago of leaking confidential information. The COBRA auto theft unit was disbanded after the City of Hamtramck was named in several lawsuits that resulted in the city doling out hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuit settlements to litigants claiming police misconduct.

    The by-product of these special assignments was that it has left fewer officers available for community policing. Using police personnel as revenue sources rather than as peace officers is bad public policy and left gaping holes in the overall police presence needed to maintain safe streets in Hamtramck.

    Chief Anne Moise claimed it was former chief of police Max Garbarino that made the decision to assign Hamtramck P.D. personnel to COBRA – however most of the lawsuit misconduct allegations against COBRA were for acts that occurred during her tenure the chief. COBRA was only dissolved after adverse media coverage and public outrage over lawsuit allegations.

    To what extent are reserve officers being used for community policing? To what extent may detectives or administrative personnel may be reassigned to enforce traffic laws?

    The City of Hamtramck P.D. needs to look at restructuring its operations to increase traffic enforcement and community policing.

  5. Mr. Bojangles

    February 18, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Every week it seems like we read about how the police department has little control in the city and has many lawsuits pending as a result of their performance. We also read about how the fire department should be outsourced or be majorly restructured to cut costs. At what point will Hamtramck start looking at outsourcing the very expensive and underperforming police department too? The crime log speaks for itself really. Not a whole lot of real crime going on here. Seems like there could be a contract with a private security company to patrol the streets. Didn’t Michigan state police handle the last shooting investigation anyways?

  6. Gary Krantz

    February 18, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    One former City Council member told me at some junctures the Hamtramck P.D. has NO patrol officers actively cruising the city – therefore any teenage driver can speed at 100 MPH with impunity as long as he remains within municipal limits.

    This is an appalling situation.

    Asset forfeiture proceedings by police are the current main focus of the police department since the city has been so cash strapped in recent years. This has backfired to the extent the city has faced many legal actions from citizens alleging wrongful property seizures. The city has paid oodles of money to persons alleging illegal forfeiture attempts.

  7. Andrew Perrotta

    February 19, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Over 100 tickets were issued? Are you serious? Yet city council has never done anything about this? I spoke in February 2018 about how the street was dangerous at this time and it took a damn year for anything to happen? Chip, you need to start focusing on this issue more. You also need to take city council to task for not doing anything about it. When I addressed councilman Al-Moursumi about this a few weeks ago he gave me a smug response yet didn’t even acknowledge the issue. Less than a month later 100 tickets issued on the very stretch of road I complained about… Up the investigative reporting and keep up with the narrative, it’s a story that needs to be told and you are the voice to tell it.

  8. Roadman

    February 19, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Gary Krantz and Andrew Perrotta:

    When attention is being focused on the reckless speeders dominating local auto traffic, the city manager and police chief will make it a top priority.

    Look at all the TV and uploaded YouTube videotaping of these careless drivers and yet we are only now beginning to address the problem – but absent the adverse publicity and ensuing pressure on City Council and the city manager nothing would have happened.

    We need to spur leadership into action.

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