Not that anybody cares, but murders are way down in Detroit

Naturally we, as Detroiters are neither amazed nor amused when at least slightly hopeful stories don’t manage to gain much traction beyond 8 Mile Road (that would be the barrier between city and suburbs for the uninitiated), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still at least try to spread the good word whenever possible.

And when it comes to significant decreases in how many Detroiters are being murdered each year, then we need to do more than try. Because between last year and this year, according to a recent story reported in The Detroit News, Police Chief Warren Evans’ strategy appears to be doing exactly that. The fact that he is making this kind of an impact with so much less money and so many fewer officers than what he needs, is nothing short of remarkable.

“Detroit — It’s been nearly a year since Warren Evans took over as Detroit’s top cop, promising to use a proactive approach to fighting crime.

According to statistics released by the city last week, his methods seem to be working.

Homicides and nonfatal shootings in the city have plummeted, figures show, reflecting a national trend.

There were 140 homicides from the start of the year to Wednesday, a 27 percent reduction from the same period in 2009. Nonfatal shootings were down 22 percent during that period.

Granted – and this cannot in any way be ignored – there have been widely reported concerns that the Detroit Police Gang Squad has been wreaking some serious neighborhood havoc in the midst of their efforts to curb violence. Gang Squad has been credited as being largely responsible for the steep drop in homicides, yet the level of citizen complaints against them is near astronomical. You might say it defeats the purpose of fighting crime if it comes at the expense of terrifying the residents. You’re not supposed to fear both the thugs and the cops.

Still,  although my heart aches for the recent and highly-publicized death of young Ayanna Jones, who was accidentally killed by Detroit police who were raiding her home to apprehend a murder suspect who was apparently being sheltered by the girl’s family (don’t ask, man, just don’t ask), I think this story of fewer murdered Detroiters just might deserve some attention too.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Check out my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux.

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~ by Keith A. Owens on July 7, 2010.

6 Responses to “Not that anybody cares, but murders are way down in Detroit”

  1. Great post! We’re far too used to bad or inflammatory news about Detroit that we sometimes miss the positives.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what’s good for the D is good for southeast Michigan. L. Brooks Patterson certainly owns part of the friction between city and suburbs. There is hope, however, with Mayor Bing and the counties at least trying to get along.

  2. Thanks for your comments Cynical!
    And as a ‘local’ you obviously know the traumatic effect this has on our city. But like you I’m somewhat hopeful about teh future with a new mayor and a new council. Now if we can just get the DPS straightened out then just maybe we’ll have a fighting chance…

  3. We have no choice but to get DPS straightened out. I have long believed good education is essential to economic viability of the region. Until Detroit’s schools are at least on par with those of the near suburbs, the region will continue to struggle.

    Maybe if the state scraped another $10 per pupil from the 20 top spending districts and allocated it direct to educational programs in Detroit (not the DPS bureaucracy), we might start to see progress. Bob2 can only do so much; I’m beginning to think he’s about maxed out.

  4. Hi,

    I stumbled across your blog and I really enjoy reading about your passion for Michigan’s future. I found this post to particularly interesting as it focuses on the lack of interest we have in certain topics that should actually still concern us.

    I work in partnership with The Center for Michigan, and I thought perhaps you’d be interested in signing one of our three Citizens’ Petitions for Change and sharing the link with your readers.

    The online petitions are a result of conversations over the past three years with 10,000 citizens during 600 community meetings across the state of Michigan. We all have one goal in mind: to make our state great again.

    I believe you share some of the same feelings, so I encourage you to learn more at http://www.michiganpetitions.org. Our goal is to reach 15,000 signatures across the state of Michigan, so we can take these issues to the legislature and really have an impact in the new Michigan gubernatorial term.

    We would love for you to help us spread this important message with your readers. Please contact me if you are interested, and I can provide you with additional information on how you can get involved. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,
    Courtney

  5. Hey Courtney!

    Thanks so much for dropping by, and I’m glad you enjoyed what you found here. What you’re talking about definitely sounds intriguing and I believe we do share similar views. I look forward to hearing more and am very interested in taking a look at your petitions and possibly posting them here at my site.

    Take care and hope to hear from you again soon.

  6. Hi again,

    Visit http://www.thecenterformichigan.net/michigans-defining-moment/ to view 10,000 Voices: The Final Report. It represents the work of more than 10,000 Michigan citizens who joined together over the past three years in conversation about our state. The final report details a long-term vision and concrete action plan for our state’s ascent to a new era of prosperity.

    It includes many interesting pieces you could share with your readers, such as:
    – 5 Ways You Can Make a Difference NOW
    – Citizens’ 2010 To-Do List
    – 2010 Michigan Scorecard
    – MDM Map & Demographics
    – 2010 Citizens’ Agenda At-A-Glance

    http://www.michiganpetitions.org/ is the link for the different petitions, which also includes explanations for each.

    http://www.thecenterformichigan.net/ is the link for The Center for Michigan. It will provide any additional details about us.

    If you have any additional questions or would like more info, please do not hesitate to contact me. We can follow up with a call if you prefer.

    Thank you so much for the support!

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