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Bing, Snyder team up to expand Detroit public safety initiative

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A successful program that utilizes volunteers to fight crime is growing in Detroit.

Governor Snyder and Mayor Dave Bing announced Monday that the Americorps Urban Safety Corps program will extend into five Detroit neighborhoods.

The program empowers Americorps members to recruit and mobilize community volunteers for public safety efforts.

The “Governor and Mayor initiative” will target areas where other state and local “improvement initiatives” are already underway.

Governor Snyder credited the program with helping to reduce crime in the city’s Midtown area.

“Crime in Midtown’s down 44%,” Snyder said. “So this is the start of a new process to say, ‘Let’s bring that kind of result to the neighborhoods.’”

The program uses the COMPSTAT crime mapping program to find “hot spots,” and target crime-fighting efforts.

The program will receive an AmeriCorps grant of $378,871 from the Corporation for National and Community Service, with possible renewals totaling more than $1 million. The CNCS will also put more than $500,000 toward education awards for AmeriCorps members who complete the program.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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