Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 S.T.R.E.S.S. memories Previous Next
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Huggybear
Member
Username: Huggybear

Post Number: 171
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 70.236.169.121
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 1:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anyone have any? By the way, why do the current Detroit police cars mimic the color scheme of the bad old days?
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Ray1936
Member
Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 356
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You mean like this one?
1932
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Odessa
Member
Username: Odessa

Post Number: 6
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 67.38.18.16
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 2:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm assuming that you are referring to the black cars with "DETROIT POLICE" in gold letters on the doors? Those cars were the cruisers also known as the "big four". "Bad old days"? The city was in much better shape, visually and in regards to crime in the "bad old days" than it is now. A car is just a car, although it does look intimidating, which is what a police car should be.
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Bobj
Member
Username: Bobj

Post Number: 551
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.40.89.238
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 3:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember that whole STRESS issue, but I was a kid when all that was going on. I lived in a close in suburb about 1/2 mile out of Detoit. I had some friends that went to Denby at the time and they seemed pretty afraid of the STRESS units. One of the kids father was in a Big Four unit and he was a pretty intimidating dude. He claimed there was nothing to be afraid of unless you were doing something you shouldn't be doing.

But, I really had no personal experience with any of that.
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Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 378
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 68.2.191.57
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

... there was nothing to be afraid of unless you were doing something you shouldn't be doing.


Hell's Angels use that same phrase. LOL
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Bobj
Member
Username: Bobj

Post Number: 554
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.40.89.238
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 3:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good point, Jimaz
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Mcnamara
Member
Username: Mcnamara

Post Number: 35
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 204.22.230.98
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 4:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yeah, they're still around, they call'em "30 series"
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 121
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 66.73.238.5
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I've got a STRESS memory.

In early 1974, I was a 20 year old full time Wayne State student, living at home, and working a part time job to help pay for school. One night I was driving the brand new'73 Camaro that had taken me nearly 2 years to save up for with 2 friends (also WSU students) down 7 Mile to visit some friends. I happened to notice an unmarked Detroit Police car directly in front of me and another one directly behind me. At first, I was unconcerned, but the next thing you know, the car in the rear pulled along side me and a plain clothes cop in the passenger seat flashed his badge and forced me to pull over. At that point my car was surrounded by a half dozen STRESS cops with guns drawn. My friends and I were totally dumfounded because we knew we hadn't done anything wrong; hell, I wasn't even speeding. Anyway, the cops made us lay down on the ground, then they searched us, and ransacked the car. When I asked what this was all about, one of the cops accused me of being a smart ass and threatened to arrest me on G.P. Eventually, 2 other STRESS cars showed up on the scene and by now there were maybe 8 or 10 cops on hand. After about 45 minutes, the cops hadn't found any drugs or weapons on us or in the car, and a check of all our driver's licenses showed none of us had any warrants of any sort, so they finally let us go without ever explaining why we had been pulled over in the first place.

Maybe it was a case of mistaken identity, maybe they assumed that 3 young black kids in a shiny new Camaro just HAD to be up to no good, or maybe it was just a slow night on E. Seven Mile and the cops were hungry for some amusement at the hands of 3 college kids. Either way, that was over 30 years ago and I still remember it as if it happened yesterday. I have always had a very low opinion of the Detroit Police Dept. ever since.
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Paulc
Member
Username: Paulc

Post Number: 57
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 159.53.110.143
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 4:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What did the STRESS acronym stand for? Wasn't it: "Stop the Robberies - Enjoy/Ensure Safe Streets" or something to that affect?

Gary - Incidents like that sure do stick in one's memory - especially when you know that you've done nothing wrong. It's a scary experience experience. Thank you for sharing your personal story.
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 122
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 66.73.238.5
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 4:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Stop The Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets". It was an acronym coined by former police chief John Nichols, who was by most accounts a pretty good cop in most other respects, STRESS not withsstanding.
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Ray1936
Member
Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 357
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, Gary's unfortunate experience nonwithstanding, that was not how STRESS was set up or operated.

STRESS analyzed Robbery Armed and Robbery Not Armed data and prioritized areas that were repeadedly scenes of these crimes. One officer would disguise himself as either drunk or dressed out-of-place, and see if he could make himself become a crime vicitim without any overt action.

If he, while in place, was robbed either at gunpoint or by strongarming, his crew, secreted in the area, moved in and made the arrest.
It may seem a little amazing to some of you, but believe it or not, some of those fellows did not WANT to be arrested. Can you imagine that? Since they usually had a gun in their hand at the time, they would chose to start moving that gun in the direction of a police officer. Well, what happened then needs no detailing.

To my experience, STRESS did not stop cars on the street. They had other things to do.
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Bagman
Member
Username: Bagman

Post Number: 46
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 84.83.110.81
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 6:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have had black police officers tell me they wish that STRESS was reinstated....I always found that odd as I thought that one of the major complaints against STRESS was racial profiling?

Ray - I think you have given an accurate description of STRESS I have heard those facts before.
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Goat
Member
Username: Goat

Post Number: 8228
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 70.53.98.220
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 6:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Probably because they got the job done. Today they may not have the same the same tactics. Citizens and civil rights groups are watching the police a lot more closely.
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Barnesfoto
Member
Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 1757
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.2.148.144
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 6:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ray's story matches what I had heard.
Second and Prentis area could use some decoy cops right about now...
And if only could send a few million Bush Supporters to Baghdad to act as civilian decoys...
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Chub
Member
Username: Chub

Post Number: 295
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.246.28.200
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We need some type of pro-active and agressive police program started. I don't know if it should be anything like what STRESS was, but somthing way more agressive than what we have right now.
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Bagman
Member
Username: Bagman

Post Number: 47
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 84.83.110.81
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 7:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I disagree...If Second and Prentis is your corner....Go outside and tell the folks haning out they need to move on.........Take your cell phone and if they do not move on call the Wayne State police (you can dial 11 and tell the state trooper that answers that you would like to be transfered to WSU PD)and let them know you have an individual that needs to be told to move on..causing a disturbance...I bet it works..If tenants and land owners stand up to this crud they move on....
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Barnesfoto
Member
Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 1758
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.2.149.50
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 8:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Second and Prentis is not my corner...I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood that has thus far been spared from the increasing crime seen in other parts of the city. I'm posting from the POV of someone who has heard friends from that area complaining about the rampant larceny and the armed gang that seems to be commiting robberies accompanied by ass-kickings in that area.
There is also a thread on this board somewhere discussing the issue.
Of course, it's always easier to find a solution to problems that are a mile or ten down the road from you...
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 123
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 70.237.162.217
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bagman...I can tell you that apparently, the commanders of the DPD's STRESS unit must have firmly believed in affirmitive action, because at least 3 or 4 of the STRESS cops I encountered that night were Black. My youngest brother is a DPD lieutenant. I also have four first cousins and several personal friends who are all active duty or recently retired DPD officers, and they all echo similar sentiments concerning wanting to bring back STRESS. I'm not so sure it's a good idea.

Uhhh, they got what "job" done, Goat? If you're trying to say they impacted a reduction in street crime in any significant way, I'm inclined to disagree. However, I do know they were responsible for a significant number of shootings of Detroit citizens, some of whom were involved in crime, many of whom were not, but nearly all of whom happended to be Black. Check the stats. That's why the unit was eventually disbanded; rogue cops (both Black and White) who were sworn to uphold the law were actually dealing out street justice, and a lot of innocent people were paying the ultimate price. The public outcry against STRESS became overwhelming. Believe me, if those STRESS cops had been protecting the public, as they were charged to do, there would never have been any serious effort to do away with them.
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Bagman
Member
Username: Bagman

Post Number: 48
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 62.163.1.129
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 7:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Barnesfoto - Well I do live in that area and I used to listen to a police scanner (before the new radio system has caused me to start saving for a $450 model that will get the new digital signal) and there were many calls to that corner, but more at night then day time. I live around the block so I always had the 13th pct. on. I know that in our area some corners are better than others. When my children come over they are only allowed to ride thier bikes in designated areas. They are not allowed to go to Third and Prentis for instance...They do take the mail to the mail box on Second but only during daylight and they have to avoid the north west corner.

I like the area and I know as more of these projects fill up it will help to lower crime. I will tell you that when the construction company that was building in the area hired pvt security to patrol the area, there were less broken car windows in those areas....As much as I hate to see some of those projects built.....

Gary - I am a big fan of DPD, they, like all big Depts have good and bad, but here in Detroit I think we have the Baddest...in a good way...How can you run a dept with half as many officers that were required in the past to cove the same AREA....Population only effects the tax base not the need for officers in all areas...It takes real BALLS to be a Detroit Police Officer....One of our problems is that with things being as tough on the officers as they are we do have many who get bitter and move on, or worse stay and wait out that pension.
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Gary
Member
Username: Gary

Post Number: 124
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 71.144.82.13
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 9:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm all in favor of an honest, well trained, well equipped and highly motivated police force made up of officers who reflect the values of the community and respect the rights of the citizens they serve. Yes, it does take a certain type of individual to want to take on the job of being a Detroit police officer. I applaud those officers who are out there day in and day out protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Detroit.

The problem with the DPD has often been that dishonest, corrupt and/or incompetent cops have caused the public's perception of the department to suffer. The actions of some (but certainly not all) STRESSS officers is a great example of that. Stories of "bad" cops usually make good headlines, stories of "good" cops don't. For better or for worse, that's just the way it is.

Strong leadership, both in the department as well as in the Mayor's office is essential to the success of the DPD, as is adequate funding and adequate manpower to meet the department's objectives. The DPD officers who I know personally all point to a lack of leadership as a critical factor.

What we need is a dsiciplined, highly visible uniformed force, as a crime deterent. not a bunch of yahoos out there running roughshod through the community. Can anyone say "Mallice Green"?
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2345
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.167.210.54
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 10:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

During the STRESS era, I was managing a couple of small decaying apartment buildings in the lower Cass Corridor inhabited by elderly tenants who were often victims of muggings. Ray1936 is correct. STRESS cops were decoys dressed like bums. A couple showed up one day after a tenant died [natural causes] but their large size made me think no one would mess with them.

The problem was that a few of the cops, and one in particular, became rogue cops, literally executing young men then planting weapons on them. The standing joke was that every STRESS cop carried an unregistered gun and a couple of knives for this purpose.

When this was exposed, during the Roman Gribbs days, it came along with the Haywood Brown / John Nichols "mad dog killers" manhunt for some cop killers which resulted in midnight raids kicking down doors of over 60 residences, often as in Gary's story unwarranted and sometimes at wrong addresses. No one was found and the Nazi-like terror of seemingly unrestricted police misbehavior became a political issue in the mayoral campaign that lead to the election of Coleman Young.

Young disbanded STRESS, undertook police reforms and did much to restore police-community relations, one of the much overlooked positive outcomes in his legacy.

What befell Gary was more symptomatic of the 'Big Four' for simply the 'Fo' in street speak. They were rampant throughout the sixties, four huge cops in a black car, for their whimsical and humiliating harrassment of largely young Afro-American males. Their actions were often cited as one of the main causes of building up the resentment that led to the 1967 riots.
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Rustic
Member
Username: Rustic

Post Number: 2167
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.163.181.81
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 12:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Both Ray1936 and Lowell describe STRESS quite well imo. Detroit is a complicated place. Other abuses that STRESS was commonly accused of which is short of the street executions Lowell mentioned were these: (1) instead of targetting high crime areas, INDIVIDUALS would be targetted, (2) the "sting" operation wouldn't even be remotely as elaborate as described by Ray or Lowell (consider if merely a wallet (cash or drugs inside) or weapon was left on the ground in plain sight, when an appropriate person stopped to pick it up, swoop in come the cops (also the order of this might be reversed, golly imagine that) (3) consider if the undercover wino described by Ray and Lowell wasn't so much passive bait but instead proactively engaged the target (in other words picked a fight). These sorta tactics would not be useful in obtaining actual convictions but that most likely wasn't the point of doing them.

Didn't Ken Cockrell publicize STRESS abuses?

Re Big Four, were these units still rolling in 74? I'm not sure about that ... weren't they doing something else by then (2 cars with 2 per car or something like that?) That seems to fit Gary's description of his experience. Perhaps they said they were STRESS to scare the shit out of Gary (it would have worked too).
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Goat
Member
Username: Goat

Post Number: 8230
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 70.53.96.43
Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 5:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, wrong time frame. I had thought that it (STRESS) was CAY's attempt to get rid of street gangs (which he did).
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Super_d
Member
Username: Super_d

Post Number: 757
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 1:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

'STRESS' was the 2nd largest 'gang' in Detroit, behind, the 'Errol Flynns'!

super d(motordetroit)
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Rijobo
Member
Username: Rijobo

Post Number: 12
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.74.15.11
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 11:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Big four units used to cruise through Farwell Field - Derby Hill Mound & Outer Dr area. They were pretty intimedating in there shinny, super charged black Plymouth sedans always four in a car white shirts, skinny black neck ties Brylcreamed hair. I had seen a few arrests mostly for disorderly conduct (alcohol) The smart ones sometimes me would pop our pills or smoke some wildwood weed before we crossed the 8 mi boarder our cars were always clean and smelling fresh. " Thoes were the good old days "
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Hutt
Member
Username: Hutt

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 64.136.49.225
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 10:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder if S.T.R.E.S.S. would help in my neighborhood.
There's a lot of C.R.A.P. (Crackheads Robberies And Prostitutes) going on.
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 3794
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 198.111.165.162
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

STRESS is like Detroit's "SECRET POLICE FORCE" When you be out in the ghettos of Detroit. You never know whether a ordinary average person is a STRESS cop or not. I'm glad that so called "SECRET POLICE FORCE" is long gone.

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