A huge portion of Detroit's operating costs go to police and fire. If you include retiree health care and pensions, way over half of Detroit's budget goes to police and fire**. That is an enormous increase since 1960.
So one might expect the schools to suck and the streetlights to be broken (which they do and are), but you would expect great freaking fire and police coverage. But you would be wrong. Detroit has one of the highest crime rates in the country. This is what you get for your money there:
If you're a Detroiter who needs a police officer, it will take 58 minutes to get help -- more than five times what it takes elsewhere in the United States...
Here are some of the other problems outlined in the bankruptcy filing:
-- Response times for Emergency Medical Services and the Detroit Fire Department average 15 minutes, which is more than double the 7-minute averages seen in other cities.
-- The police department closes only 8.7% of its criminal cases, which the filing blames on the department's "lack of a case management system, lack of accountability for detectives, unfavorable work rules imposed by collective bargaining agreements and a high attrition rate in the investigative operations unit."
-- The city's violent crime rate is five times the national average, and the highest of any city with a population exceeding 200,000.
** This is in large part due to the power of their unions, and their ability in elections to translate hero worship for police and fire fighters into political power that will allow them to get anything they want. As a politician, try to stand up for sanity and you will be deluged by union ads arguing that you don't respect our men who are risking their lives for you, etc. etc.