DETROIT (WXYZ) - Belle isle is a popular place for families to celebrate summer holidays like Memorial Day, but the recent controversy surrounding how the island is being policed since the state took over has some staying away.
River Rouge Park is also a popular place in Detroit for holiday festivities, but we found some families who went there instead of Belle Isle because they had serious doubts about law enforcement on the island.
Annie Adams cooks the food for her family, but the only thing they can’t order from her this Memorial Day, is a trip to Belle Isle.
“We just wanted a nice evening without any problems," said Adams.
Adams said she was afraid of being harassed by law enforcement on the island so instead they came to River Rouge Park.
"I don't know if we would have. My husband said we wouldn't, but I don't know. Every time I look at the news people are complaining,” said Adams.
We found other people who were also concerned.
“Well, earlier we thought about going to Belle Isle but I said I didn't want to go through the hassle,” said Joseph Parker.
"I just really wanted to have a different atmosphere and didn't want any problems enjoying myself," said Cardia Wade.
We went to Belle Isle and we found a lot of people enjoying themselves with swimming, grilling and just cruising.
“I don't think anyone is getting harassed,” said Emmanuel Humes.
"I see the police stopping a lot of people and a lot of cars and checking people out," said Terry Thomas.
We did see the same thing.
“Stop them for a reason, don't just stop them for driving," said Thomas.
We saw Michigan State Police pull a guy over for blowing a stop sign with a car full of kids.
“It's been a mellow day because I didn't have to worry about my son because people were speeding and acting a fool," said Steven Able.
Able appreciates the state's takeover of the island.
“One thing about it is you know you're safe. It's like hanging out downtown at the River Walk, that's what it's like down here now. So it's been an excellent day. I'll be back,” said Able.
Often times Michigan State Police will give warnings when they stop people, and that’s what they did for the guy who blew that stop sign.
Since the state takeover of Belle Isle, there's been growing controversy about Michigan State Police cracking down on visitors, accused of patrolling the park too strictly. New numbers released this past week may squash that.
Michigan State Police said since February troopers have stopped 422 people. Of those stops, the vast majority, which is 372, have been warnings and 49 citations were handed out.
The numbers that show the patrols may really be paying off is the number of people arrested for outstanding warrants. Forty-seven fugitives were arrested, right in the same park where families are just trying to have a good time. Another 10 were arrested on felony warrants and another 77 arrests for misdemeanor warrants.