State police provide resources to Inkster after massive department cuts

Exclusive: MSP Help Solve Inkster Gun Murders

INKSTER, Mich. (WXYZ) - A suburban community has faced incredible challenges, after more than half of it's police force was cut due to severe layoffs.

Inkster Police have been forced to make a lot of tough choices, and have also been working in partnership with Michigan State Police to help make their streets safer.

That partnership has hit home for people like Latisha Love, a mother of 8 who lost her husband to a deadly unsolved shooting back in 2013. Her kids are now being raised without a father, and the toll taken on them emotionally and financially has been enormous.

"I just got it in my mind that I have no choice but to stay strong and keep going" says Love.

However, the violence goes far beyond the murder of 38-year-old father and husband Gerald Love. Police Chief William Riley says the department had been cut from 70 officers in 2011, to just 24 in 2015.

Today, the number is 28 and a far cry from what's needed.

"When I first got here, we had 1 detective and 1 supervisor. They were so far behind the curve it was incredible" says Riley.

In 2015, in a city of roughly 25,000, there were 10 murders and in 2016 there were 13 according to Riley. He says this year they've had 4 so far.

They've turned to Michigan State Police for help since 2014, and Riley says troopers and detectives have been making a huge difference.

A special unit led by Lt. Greg Morenko, has provided an additional squad of 6 uniform troopers, a sergeant, and 4 additional detectives working murder cases involving guns.

"The troops take a lot of these cases personal, and especially the detectives. They understand closure to these victims and their families is a big deal" says Morenko.

State Police say from 2014 to 2016, they've seen promising results including a 12.5% drop in violent crime, after patrolling in "hotspot" areas.

Back at the Love home, there's still hope that justice will be delivered and answers will eventually be found.

"That will help a lot. If they keep doing that it will definitely help a lot" says Love.

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