When a business is failing, it often skimps on customer service and quality, and focuses mainly on short-term revenue goals. There is good reason to believe the same thing happens in failing bureaucracies, e.g. the police force of Detroit.
As the funding for pensions, salaries, health care, and other perquisites was drying up, the police force appears to have forsaken some very important criminal and safety issues and redeployed its forces on revenue-generating activities, such as traffic fines, etc.
Here is evidence consistent with this interpretation of what happened there:
Over 11,000 sexual assault kits, some dating back to the 1980's, were found abandoned in a Detroit Police storage facility back in 2009. Not long after the rape kits were discovered, Worthy pushed to start the processing with Michigan State Police.
So far, 1,600 rape kits have been processed, resulting in the identification of about 100 serial rapists and ten convicted rapists, according to Worthy.
Worthy told reporters that perpetrators have moved on from Michigan to commit similar crimes in 23 other states.
Appalling. But it is consistent with the fundamental premise of economics: People respond to incentives.
Yes, bureaucrats are people; and yes, they too respond to incentives.