There have been 251 murders this year alone in Detroit, as of September 3. That's 251 human beings - sons and daughters; neighbors and fiends - who are no longer with us. 251 lives that were needlessly snuffed out.
Incidentally, the economic cost of those crimes, based on data from the RAND Corporation, is $1.3 billion. If that money had continued to circulate in our local economy, instead of being lost through criminal behavior, it would be enough to create more than 20,000 jobs in Detroit.
Meanwhile, as I continue to think about crime and its impact, there is the fact that the Detroit Police Department's response time is so bad that many of my neighbors don't even bother calling 9-1-1 when they see a crime in progress. They simply don't believe the police will do anything so they don't bother.
Turning away from issues of crime for a moment, there is also the fact that the Detroit Fire Department has been so decimated by layoffs that they are seriously considering inviting tourists to ride along on their rigs to help fight fires. I thought that was a joke when I first read it, but here it is on Fox 2 Detroit.
And what has been the big issue before the Detroit City Council this week?
A series of charter amendments that would allow them to accept gifts while in office and to take lobbying jobs once they are voted out of office.
To everyone on the City Council I would simply like to say: FUCK YOU!