LANSING, Mich. — Lansing City Council is working on a plan to expand the Lansing Police Department’s cold case unit.
The department has one detective working on 85 unsolved homicides. The plan would add five more employees to the unit.
“We’d need at least one more detective, we’d need an IT support person, we would need a part-time prosecutor, and we’ll need a part-time investigator, and we would need a clerical support person,” said Council member Patricia Spitzley.
Spitzely expects the city would need to come up with at least $250,000 annually to add the additional staff.
Lansing recently received around $50 million in COVID relief money, Spitzley said, it shouldn’t problem for some of that to be used to increase the size of the cold case unit.
“ I am definitely committed to at least the first year, part of the money of the plan to come out of the COVID relief fund,” Spitzley said.
“I think it’s a start, it’s a start in a good direction, but with over 70 cold cases, I just don’t think five people would give the details needed in solving each of these cases,” said Katrina Bassey.
Bassey and her husband, Marcus, lost their 23-year-old son Marcus Bassey II to gun violence in 2013.
Marcus Bassey II is one of 250,000 homicide victims across the country whose cases have not been solved. His parents said the city should pay for many more employees in the cold case unit so that more families won't be forced to live without closure.
“Give us some more people and keep it coming, and I think we’ll get to where we need to get at with some of these cases,” Marcus Bassey said.
Spitzley said she hopes that the additional staff would be added to the cold case unit by this time next year.