Detroit leaders promise to take on crime | Michigan Radio

Detroit leaders promise to take on crime

Aug 24, 2011

Federal, state, and local officials say they’re banding together to fight rising gun violence in Detroit. FBI Special Agent Andy Arena, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing are among those calling for a “holistic” approach to curbing crime. Arena says the FBI is pitching in by helping analyze Detroit’s crime data for trends and hotspots. But he says there are also deeper problems to address.

“We’ve gotta give kids, the young people in the city, hope. We have to show them that there’s a way beyond violence and drugs to solve their problems, to have a future. And I know it’s very difficult with the things that they see every day. But we’ve gotta give them hope.”

Arena says the FBI will triple the size of its community outreach in Detroit. Detroit has recorded 230 homicides so far this year, a 21% increase over last year. The vast majority are shootings.

The assembled group had little to offer in the way of concrete strategies to combat crime. But Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says it starts with leaders and the community taking the problem seriously.

“This is not just rhetoric that we’re presenting to you today. I think the level of commitment, as you see the men and women standing up here…everyone is tired of what’s been happening in our city.”

Detroit Police have changed some policies to deploy more officers on longer shifts. And the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s office says it’s willing to prosecute the most serious gun crimes in federal court.