Police department needs all the extra eyes and ears it can get



If you are a regular reader of our Crime Log, you will have no doubt noticed an uptick of street robberies in recent weeks.

Some of them have been pretty brazen. In one instance, a suspect rushed up and grabbed the purse of a woman while she was in front of her house.

The robberies are happening at all times of the day and throughout the city. It’s getting a little scary out on the streets.

We bring this up because the city council had an opportunity to give the police department extra eyes and ears. A few weeks ago the council rejected a proposal to unencrypt police radios to allow the public to listen in on police communications.

Hamtramck had a long history of residents listening in on their scanners at home. Often residents would hear of a crime in motion and be able to help police track down the suspect just by looking out their windows.

That all changed recently when the department switched to a new digital format and blocked out the ability to allow the public to tune into their communications. It was done to prevent the bad guys from also listening in, although it’s highly unlikely most criminals are using scanners.

It seemed like the council was in favor of unencrypting the radios but for some reason all but Councilmember Cathie Gordon voted against that action.

While we understand there is a need for sensitivity in police matters, we think allowing the public to listen in on their scanners is a plus for officers. Right now Hamtramck needs to step up its security network, and the best way to do that is to get the community involved.


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