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.