A woman with darker skin and wearing a colorful head wrap, glasses, black coat is speaking and looking at her laptop screen.
Board Secretary Victoria Shah introduces board staff.

Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting, March 16, 2023

Residents said the board has failed to accomodate a public commenter with a disability. They argued that the board must give her more time than the standard two minutes. 

Commissioner Willie Burton agreed, saying that the Detroit City Council usually gives the commenter three minutes. Yet Chair Bryan Ferguson said the board does accomodate her, and insisted, “We have to be fair.” The matter was forwarded to the Personnel & Training Committee. 

Y’all a disgrace. 
— Former Commissioner William Davis, criticizing the board for not properly accomodating a commenter with a disability. 

The board voted for the Personnel & Training Committee to reassess job candidates for its chief investigator position. This comes after the board rescinded its job offer to the Rev. Jerome Warfield Sr., a former commissioner. The position has been vacant for three years. 

I don’t mean disrespect. I was pleased to pick you. 

— Commissioner Jim Holley, addressing the Rev. Jerome Warfield Sr. and the board’s rescission of Warfield’s job offer. 

Some commissioners are concerned about the license plate readers that the Detroit Police Department (DPD) wants to install throughout the city. The readers would cost $5 million to install. The department has already installed 80 readers, and it says it wants to install more to combat an increase in car theft. 

Commissioner Linda Bernard and Vice Chair Annie Holt worried about potential abuse of the surveillance technology, and Holt drew parallels to the department’s use of facial recognition. DPD’s use of that technology has led to at least two false arrests of Black men in 2020 and 2021. Commissioner Burton further argued that the use of surveillance technology disproportionately impacts low-income Black and Hispanic communities. He pointed out that Ypsilanti has banned license plate readers

Others pushed back. Commissioner Jesus Hernandez decried equating license plate readers to facial recognition. A deputy police chief sitting in for Police Chief James White said the department has policies in place to mitigate abuse of license plate readers, similar to its facial recognition policy adopted in 2019. 

“No, no, no.” I’m hearing that a lot, but they’re not coming up with any solutions. 

— Chair Bryan Ferguson, referring to commissioners who disagree with the police department’s use of license plate readers. 

Newly hired Board Secretary Victoria Shah presented budget updates. The budget for fiscal year 2023 will accomodate two new positions for a community relations manager and a data analyst. Shah also noted, for fiscal year 2022, that the board has a surplus of about $858,000 from a budget of more than $3.8 million. 

This page is a work-in-progress. Some information and links are not yet determined, as indicated by [brackets].

Table of Contents


The meeting was live-blogged on Mastodon and Twitter for Detroit Documenters, which offers its own report.

Documents available on Documenters.org, including the meeting agenda and more documentation by Madison Ganzak.

The agency’s last meeting on March 9 was documented by Colleen Cirocco and Minnah Arshad. The next meeting on March 23 was documented by Alex Klaus and Damien Benson.

Visit the agency’s website for official information.


Archived pages

Mastodon posts and meeting page are archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.


The actual start of the meeting (3 p.m.) can be heard 30 minutes into the recording. 



Page published March 26, 2023.

Share freely

All original content in this documentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Share and republish to everyone, freely.