Detroit Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee, Jr. issued a statement on Wednesday in which he praised the "Hugs Not Bullets" campaign. This was a public relations effort to encourage Detroiters to refrain from shooting into the air on New Year's Eve. In spite of this, there were at least forty two shots fired in the Warrendale neighborhood to welcome 2011. (Yes, I spent the evening counting gunshots.)
In spite of all these shots being fired, I did not see a single police officer last night.
I feel old by saying this, but I can remember several New Year's Eves in a row where there wouldn't be a single shot fired in the Warrendale neighborhood. When it did happen, it was never more than one or two shots fired. Moreover, in my estimation, it would seem that every year more and more ammunition is going into the sky on New Year's Eve. This means that every year, more and more bullets are coming back to Earth with the potential for tragic consequences.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we need to do a much better job at safely welcoming 2012. This is a problem that needs more than a public relations campaign to combat it.