Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Evans Unveils DPD Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence

Detroit Police Chief Warren C. Evans announced a new initiative for the Detroit Police Department, which seeks to use data about shootings to target police raids more effectively. I think the idea of using data to make decisions like this is a good one, in and of itself.

My problem with this is that, when one considers how incredibly understaffed the Detroit Police Department is, there is decent probability that deploying a large number of officers to one geographic area will simply leave the rest of the city exposed; without the kind of police protection that it needs. If that happens then there is a very real probability that when the police target one area for enforcement, the gangs, drug dealers and other criminals will simply scurry away to an unprotected area like cockroaches scurrying from the light.

If that is allowed to happen then the police are essentially playing Whac-A-Mole with criminals who are constantly on the move. The only way to avoid that situation, in my opinion, is to maintain a basic level of police services throughout the city and use additional officers to hit certain hot spots. This, unfortunately, requires a greater commitment to funding for the police department that recent mayors and city councils have been willing to provide for Detroiters.

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