Detroit's police and fire retirees could face cuts to benefits - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Detroit's police and fire retirees could face cuts to benefits

Posted: Updated:
Don Taylor represents 6,500 retirees from Detroit's police and fire departments. Don Taylor represents 6,500 retirees from Detroit's police and fire departments.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

They put their lives on the line to protect Detroit in every season and dedicated their careers to public safety. Now thousands of police and fire retirees could face painful cuts to their pension and healthcare benefits because Detroit does not have the money to live up to its obligations.

"It's pretty difficult if they cut you and you can no longer survive on the income that you have. No one's going to hire somebody that's 70, 80, 90 years old. I don't think there's too many jobs out there available," said Don Taylor.

He was a police officer for 26 years and is now president of the Retired Detroit Police and Firefighters Association representing 6,500 members.

Taylor attended Friday's meeting with Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and left disappointed by what he heard.

"Part of this is because of the corruption in the City of Detroit that's taken place over the years, and it's poor leadership that should've seen this coming years ago when it declined in the population," he said. "They took no steps to correct the action, and they just continued along a path of destruction."

Taylor pointed out that his union actually agreed to reduce their healthcare benefits years ago, saving the city about $30 million a year.

No specifics have been given on the cuts, and retirees are anxiously waiting for the numbers.

This union and the city's two pension boards are preparing for a possible battle in court. The pension boards have $5 million set aside, and Taylor said his union is also prepared to take this to a courtroom to protect retirees' rights under the state constitution.

Orr has said he does not believe the constitution protects benefits from a city that cannot afford them and has no way to pay back its liabilities.

A Michigan State economics professor estimates that the city faces $4.9 billion in future healthcare costs for retirees.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Detroit Police's 'Green Machine 40' stages crackdown of suspected drug houses

    Detroit Police's 'Green Machine 40' stages crackdown of suspected drug houses

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:34:02 GMT
    Heavily armed members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team move in -- swarming this house on Tacoma with the state police helicopter overhead.This residence is believed to be a drug house where people were selling cocaine. No evidence and no arrests were found this time, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the message is loud and clear"We'll come back to this location and we'll send the owner a nice note and if we have to come back again we'll take it," said Craig. Elsewhere ther...
    Heavily armed members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team move in -- swarming this house on Tacoma with the state police helicopter overhead.This residence is believed to be a drug house where people were selling cocaine. No evidence and no arrests were found this time, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the message is loud and clear"We'll come back to this location and we'll send the owner a nice note and if we have to come back again we'll take it," said Craig. Elsewhere ther...
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Funeral today for Armada teen, April Millsap

    Funeral today for Armada teen, April Millsap

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:49 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:49:48 GMT
    Family and friends of a 14-year-old Michigan girl are to gather for her funeral as investigators continue hunting for her killer.ice...
    Family and friends of a 14-year-old Michigan girl are to gather for her funeral as investigators continue hunting for her killer.ice...
  • When is it appropriate for police to use a taser? Video prompts questions about police action in Clinton Township

    When is it appropriate for police to use a taser? Video prompts questions about police action in Clinton Township

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:38:12 GMT
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
  • Murder hearing for couple whose dogs killed runner

    Murder hearing for couple whose dogs killed runner

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:19 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:19:29 GMT
     A couple whose two dogs fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger have been charged with second-degree murder.
     A couple whose two dogs fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger have been charged with second-degree murder.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices