Wednesday, July 27, 2011

49 Reasons to Leave Detroit

Four employees of Dearborn Axle (20446 W. Warren Ave.) were robbed at gun point last Saturday at approximately 5:45 p.m. The employees had just stepped outside at the end of their shift when they were approached by two black men with handguns who demanded everything that had.

The entire incident was captured on video surveillance from the shop. Channel 7 Action News (WXYZ-TV ABC) featured the story on their newscast that evening. You can see their entire report on their website.

Sadly, the robbery at Dearborn Axle wasn't the only crime to happen in the Warrendale neighborhood. In fact, it was 1 of 49 crimes in the neighborhood to be reported in a week. Once upon a time, we wouldn't have had that many crimes in the neighborhood in an entire year. Now, we have 49 such incidents in a single week.

The Warrendale neighborhood was also victimized by:
  • 11 assaults;
  • 1 case of arson on Rosemont near Tireman;
  • 1 case of a motorist driving under the influence;
  • 7 cases of vandalism;
  • 1 vehicle break-in at Greenfield and W. Warren Ave.;
  • 3 vehicles were stolen;
  • 3 cases of telephone threats;
  • 1 case of intimidation; and
  • 20 cases of burglary - usually from homes while the owners were away.
All within a single week.

And this wasn't that unusual of a week.

The sad fact of the matter is that most of these victims will eventually decide that they have had enough of this insanity. Businesses will close. Residents will move. All of which will leave Detroit with more vacant homes and commercial buildings; not to mention less tax revenue.

The question that we ultimately have to ask ourselves is: how much more of this are we going to put up with?

Ralph Godbee has simply failed in his job as Chief of the Detroit Police Department. I can't really say that I blame him. He has done the best that he can. However, he was never really a cop. He has spent almost his entire career in a series of administrative roles.

If Detroit was being victimized by out of control paper clips, no one would be better to respond to the situation than Ralph Godbee. Gun toting thugs who are looking for enough to cash to score their next drug fix simply aren't something that he is prepared to deal with.

Detroit needs a top cop who is actually a cop; not a file clerk with a badge. Unfortunately, after former Chief Warren Evans developed a habit of appearing in front of a television camera too often, Mayor Dave Bing decided to replace him with someone who wouldn't be as much of a potential political rival.

And, to his credit, Ralph Godbee has proven himself to be a man with no mayoral aspirations.

That may be fine for Mayor Bing, but it cannot be good enough for the rest of us. We need to demand better. We need to demand a national search for a competent law enforcement professional; one who is capable of taking a department with one of the largest budgets in the nation and putting those resources to use.

That is what Detroit needs, in my opinion, and a lot of other Detroiters feel the same way. I just wonder if Mayor Bing will ever listen to us.
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