(Detroit) – Detroit is broke, so it only makes sense that the city can’t keep paying for things that it can’t afford. Mayor Bing announced that without additional support from outside, that Detroit will cancel the annual Riverfront Fireworks show and the Thanksgiving Parade.
The Parade Company runs both events, but the City of Detroit covers the cost of police and Public Works employees. The annual cost for each event to Detroit is around $700,000. That arrangement is coming to an end.
The Parade Company is a non-profit which means they can solicit donations from benefactors, apply for grants from foundations and do other fundraising in order to raise enough money for these events. If they are unable to raise enough money, the events will no longer take place. This years fireworks on June 25th will still take place since the new fiscal year doesn’t begin until July 1st.
Running these types of events without the proper planning and police presence isn’t good for anyone. “We need adequate staffing so people can enjoy a safe fireworks,” Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said. “Last year, we didn’t have the staffing we needed; some individuals … decided to wreak havoc at the fireworks. Last year was not the optimal resource situation.”
Further complicating the situation was an ambiguous statement made by Mayor Bing that seemed to indicate deputies from Oakland and Macomb County would be patrolling “in kind”. County Executives L. Brooks Patterson and Mark Hackel were both quick to release a joint press release indicating that they will only provide deputies for patrol if they are paid to do so.