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By M.L. Elrick
Detroit Free Press

DETROIT - John Bennett, an outspoken cop whose Web site became a favorite destination for those intrigued with the machinations of city politics, was sworn in as a Detroit police officer today.
Bennett, 45, was fired 4 1/2 years ago after he refused an order from then-Chief Jerry Oliver to shut down his Web site, Oliver, a favorite target of Bennett, eventually quit amid a controversy created when he failed to declare a handgun packed in bags for a flight out of Metro Airport.
Bennett tried unsuccessfully to sue for his job back. He ultimately prevailed after the Detroit Police Officers Association took his case to the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.
Since February, Bennett has been answering phones at the police training academy. He was recently recertified as a police officer, clearing the way for him to return to full duty. Bennett cleared his final hurdle when Chief James Barren swore him in during a special ceremony at police headquarters this morning.
"It's a better day," Barren concluded, after saying it was good to get another officer back on the streets.
Later, Bennett told the Free Press: "Now the chain has been taken off my ankle."
He is still waiting to learn where he will be assigned.

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