Monday, November 29, 2010

Density Doesn't Solve Everything

Jane Jacobs
I'm a huge fan of population density. I have lived in and visited other cities with a lot more density than Detroit. I've seen its benefits on a firsthand basis. I've also been known to thrust Jane Jacobs's books in the faces of random people and urge them to read her works.

When Mayor Dave Bing started talking about increasing Detroit's population density, I was pleasantly surprised. There was a moment when I thought that we had an administration that got it; one that was able to move Detroit forward. Unfortunately, a year later, all we have is talk.

The worst part of this is that Detroiters still pay a tax burden that is roughly double national averages and we still suffer through public services that are almost non-existent. There seems to be a general acknowledgement that we need to change these things. However, we as a community have not made any real progress towards improving these matters over the past year.

I have, however, heard several people postulate that once a plan to improve Detroit's density is finalized and implemented things will start to improve. I have even heard people argue, in complete seriousness, that improving Detroit's population density is a prerequisite for improving basic city services.

This argument is, in my opinion, downright terrifying. The fact that I keep hearing this means that a sound urban principle, such as population density, has become nothing more than a corporate buzzword that is thrown around in lieu of actual ideas or actions.

For everyone who believes that Detroit cannot improve its core city services or reduce its tax burden until it improve its population density, I ask you to consider a few things:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Join Detroit Synergy at the Historic Dossin Mansion

Detroit Synergy will present its inaugural fundraising gala, Circa 1925, this Friday, October 22 at the historic Dossin Mansion (450 Keelson Dr.) in the Grayhaven Subdivision. This will include an evening of complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cash bar including beer, wine, and classic cocktails cocktails, as well as music from DJ Chris Guyer.

All of this will take place in the historic Dossin Mansion, which a Prohibition era venue that is rarely open to the public. Guests will be able to see the boat well that (presumably) once allowed for the clandestine delivery of alcohol as well as the speakeasy that operated in its basement.

Exterior of the Dossin Mansion
There will also be a "tin can" auction of various prizes that have been donated by the Detroit Tigers and other prominent businesses in the Detroit area.

Tickets for this gala are available in advance for only $25. At the door, they will be $35. Advance tickets and other details are available on Detroit Synergy's web site here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Police Officer Shot, Gunman Barricaded

An unidentified Detroit police officer was shot in the shoulder this evening in the vicinity of Mound Rd. and E. McNichols, which on the far east side of Detroit. According to WXYZ-TV, the shooter is reportedly barricaded in a nearby home.

The officer was reportedly treated at Detroit Receiving Hospital and released.

Police Officer Shot, Gunman Barricaded

Update @ 11:10 a.m. - October 16, 2010
The Detroit News is reporting that three men have been taken into custody in connection with this incident. They reportedly seized an undisclosed amount of narcotics as well as an AR-15 assault rifle.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Binary Day

I want to wish a Happy Binary Day to everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond.

Today is 10/10/10. We'll never see the ones and zeros of the calendar line up in perfect binary fashion like this in our lifetimes.

Life is about enjoying the odd moments like this.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tip of the Week: Chili's Donates Profits Today

The Chili's Grill & Bar (5707 Southfield Fwy.) in Warrendale is joining thousands of other participating Chili's restaurants across the United States and donating 100% of their profits for today to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to help fight childhood cancer.

To date, participating Chili's restaurants have raised more than $30 million for St. Jude, moving the brand beyond the halfway point of its 10-year goal of $50 million. Once completed, Chili's contribution will be the largest donation from a single partner campaign in St. Jude history.

Eat at Chili's and help fight childhood cancer. It's your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Help Board Vacant Houses

There is a group of us within the Warrendale neighborhood who are trying to the vacant houses in our neighborhood boarded up.  We could use your help.

This video explains it all.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Detroit Police Make $1 Million Drug Bust

The Detroit Police Department announced a major narcotics arrest this afternoon, taking more than $1 million in illicit drugs off the streets of Detroit. While it did not happen in the Warrendale neighborhood, it is still a significant development for all Detroiters. This arrest was made possible by the combined efforts by the members of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Investigations, Detroit Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration. These law enforcement officers are assigned to Detroit Border Enforcement Security Task Force (B.E.S.T.).

A B.E.S.T. member received information that a package containing several wooden hangers had suspected drugs hidden inside of them and was to be delivered to a party store located on W. Grand Blvd. The task force members intercepted the parcel that was about to be delivered on Tuesday.

The task force then set up surveillance and, once the package was delivered, a search warrant was executed to retrieve the parcel. Officers seized the package, along with brown paperbags containing 300 hydrocodone pills and a vial of 120 xanax pills with an estimate street value of $4,260. Officers also recovered additional heroin from inside of the business, making it a total of 799.5 grams of heroin with a street value of approximately $1.4 million

They also recovered over $18,000 in suspected drug proceeds, six hand guns, two long guns, as well as two vehicles (2008 Chevy Suburban and 2010 Audi). Three suspects have been identified and not-in-custody warrants will be issued. Since January, 2010, the Detroit Police has confiscated 23,213 grams of heroin, with an estimate street value of over $ 41 million.

"Due to the support and collaborative efforts with ICE and the DEA, we will continue to rid our neighborhoods of these drugs which can be linked to the majority of violence within our communities,” Chief Ralph Godbee said in a written statement.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Cool Warrendale Thing: Bikini Car Wash

The folks at the Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.) are having their annual bikini car wash this afternoon. It runs until 5 p.m.

All funds raised at the bikini car wash go directly to charity.

The bikini car wash at the Toy Chest Bar. It's your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Suspect Arrested in Bus Stop Shooting

Fox 2 News is reporting that the Detroit Police Department has arrested one of the two men who shot seven teenagers while they were waiting for a bus at the corner of W. Warren Ave. and the Southfield Fwy last summer. Demetrius Hinton, age 20, turned himself in at the 6th Precinct Station (11450 Warwick St.).

Police believe he is one of two of the masked gunmen captured in the surveillance video who opened fire at the bus stop at W. Warren Ave. and wounded seven students who just got out of summer classes. That happened in July of 2009.

Police say one month later, Mr. Hinton is believed to have committed another crime, shooting and killing Donald Bohlinger and wounding another man during a robbery that went bad.

In October, it is reported that federal investigators joined in the hunt for Mr. Hinton. Investigators believed he fled to Georgia and even applied to college in Atlanta.

Over the last few months, however, investigators learned Mr. Hinton was back in the Detroit area. We're told they were closing in on him, putting pressure on him and his family, so much so that he had no choice but to turn himself in. Monday evening, he walked into the police station and surrendered.

Sources told Fox 2 that the police are still searching for the second masked gunman. They believe they are very close to arresting him, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Local Doctor Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

Ali S. Makki, M.D., who has an office at 6050 Greenfield Rd. in Dearborn, which is just outside of the Warrendale neighborhood, plead guilty in federal court on Thursday to defrauding Medicare and making false statements in immigration and tax matters.

According to information provided to the court at the time of the guilty plea hearing, from July 2004 through September 2009, Dr. Makki knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare concerning the number and quality of x-rays provided to his Medicare patients, thereby obtaining $113,777 to which he was not entitled. In addition, Dr. Makki admitted that he falsified an immigration form for a patient applying for naturalization in an effort to exempt his patient from certain requirements necessary for naturalization, and underreported his income by not reporting certain cash receipts on his 2003 federal income tax return.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Dr. Makki faces, among other things, up to 30 months in federal prison. He will remain free on bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 30, 2010 in Port Huron, Michigan.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service.

The United States also resolved Dr. Makki’s civil liability under the False Claims Act and civil forfeiture statutes, resulting in Makki’s forfeiture of commercial real property with an appraised value of more than $4.7 million in Canton and Dearborn, and approximately $76,000 in cash. According to the publicly filed civil forfeiture complaint, the United States alleged that Ali Makki engaged in drug diversion and various fraudulent billing schemes, including billing for services that were not rendered and for unnecessary tests, and writing false progress reports in patient files.

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade praised the result in this case.  She explained in a prepared statement, "We are paying close attention to Medicare billing records and we will prosecute doctors like Dr. Makki who abuse the system."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Santana vs Pugh

There is a political contest afoot. Several candidates are vying to replace State Rep. Gabe Leland, who is unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

The race has essentially narrowed to Harvey Santana and Stacy Pugh. Both are political newcomers so it's hard to judge their viability.

Harvey Santana has been planting lawn signs throughout the neighborhood for several weeks. Stacy Pugh, however, has been catching up quickly in recent days.

This lawn sign battle has produced an interesting side-effect. There are several homes in the Warrendale neighborhood that have signs for both Harvey Santana and Stacy Pugh.

(Video tour of the Harvey Santana/Stacy Pugh lawn signs below.)

One can immediately ask: what does all of this mean?

The short answer is: pretty much nothing. I'm a firm believer in the old political adage, "Signs don't vote." Regardless, this is trend does provide some interesting comedy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Best Pizza in Michigan

Gracie See Pizzeria (6889 Greenfield Rd.) has been nominated for Michigan's Best Pizza by Channel 4/WDIV Detroit. This is a great example of investigative journalism, if I may say so myself.

However, they need your help to ensure that they maintain their lead in the on-line voting. Please vote early and vote often by casting your ballot here.

The staff at Gracie See are promising a crazy party if they win. I would like to see that happen.

Again, the on-line ballot is available here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Save Rouge Park. Again.

Rouge Park, which is the largest municipally owned park in the United States, is currently slated to close on Thursday, July 1 due to budget cuts. As a result of this, grass will no longer be cut in the park, trash will no longer be collected, no maintenance will be performed on any of the facilities, and all programming in the park will end.

It is widely expected that the lack of grass cutting, trash collecting, and maintenance will have a severely adverse impact on the 457 homes that are immediately adjacent to Rouge Park as well as the approximately 3,000 other homes that are within a 500 foot radius of it. All of this, of course, is in addition to the loss of recreational opportunities for all Detroiters.

From an economic standpoint, one should point out that allowing the park to become a blighted area will have a detrimental impact on Detroit's budget in th long-term. The 457 homeowners who are immediately adjacent to Rouge Park pay an estimated $1.1 million in property taxes. If one includes those homes within 500 feet of the park, that total jumps to $7.8 million. If a significant amount of homeowners are forced to abandon their homes as a result of this blight, the City of Detroit will have to make additional cuts next year in order to accommodate for that drop in tax revenue.

As a result of this proposal, the Friends of Rouge Park have organized a rally in opposition to this closure. It will happen on Monday, June 28 at 5 p.m at the Brennan Pools in Rouge Park. The pools are located just south of Plymouth Rd. in the park. A map is available here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Health Care Forum for Senior Citizens

There are still many questions about how the health reform bill passed by Congress will impact individuals' health care coverage.  To address provisions of the bill, the City of Detroit Senior Citizens Department and the Detroit Area Agency on Aging will host its next My Healthchoice luncheon seminar on Thursday, June 17 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Northwest Activities Center (18100 Meyers).  The seminar is entitled Now That the Health Reform Bill has Passed, What Does This Mean for Me?.

This luncheon will include presentations by Adult Well-Being, the American Cancer Society, American Association of Retired Persons, MMAP (DAAA), Hospice, Detroit Medical Center, Visiting Nurses Association, as well as the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology.  They will discuss the various programs and services offered for seniors with attendees.

This event, including lunch, is free and open to the public. For more information, or to RSVP by June 10, please call (313) 224-5444.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Warren Evans hasn’t been fired - yet

The Dyspathy blog, which is actually one of the best sources of news and analysis for stuff outside of the Warrendale neighborhood, has a post about how Chief Warren C. Evans will likely be fired from the Detroit Police Department in the coming days.

I think this is a real shame. This is partly because I believe Chief Evans has done a good job as chief of police, but mostly because his firing is being done as a political easy out to avoid any serious discussions about changes in the department (e.g., staffing, budget, etc.).

Warren Evans hasn’t been fired - yet

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chase Bank is Hiring

The Chase Bank branch in the Warrendale neighborhood (18016 W. Warren Ave.) as well as several other branches around town are hiring again. They are hiring bank tellers, personal bankers, and several other positions.

Interested applicants are invited to apply on-line at

Monday, May 17, 2010

Congrats to Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010

Rima Fakih, of nearby Dearborn, became Miss USA 2010 last night in Las Vegas. She is the first Arab American and the first Muslim to ever win this title. Her victory has been the cause of much celebration within the Arab American community.

Rima Fakih graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with bachelor's degrees in economics and business management. She is currently working in marketing for the Detroit Medical Center and plans to attend law school once she completes her reign as Miss USA.

Rima Fakih is the first Michigander to be named Miss USA since Kenya Moore of Detroit won the title in 1993.

My favorite factoid about Rima Fakih, however, comes from this quote in the Detroit Free Press.
When asked how she felt about winning the crown, Fakih said, "Ask me after I've had a pizza."
I have to love a woman who celebrates winning the Miss USA title with a pizza. Maybe we'll get lucky one day soon and see Rima Fakih at Gracie See or one of the other pizzerias in the Warrendale neighborhood.

I congratulate Rima Fakih and her family on this achievement. I wish her the best of everything in her coming year as Miss USA.

Metro Detroit celebrates Miss USA's first Arab-American winner | Detroit Free Press

Friday, May 07, 2010

Ron Scott Is An Idiot

Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality is, in my opinion, an idiot.

When Police Officer Brian Huff was shot and killed in the line of duty this past Monday, and four other police officers who injured in the same incident, Mr. Scott went to the scene and made a series of remarks to the news media. Several media outlets carried his remarks, in which he spoke about police brutality and police officers violating the constitutional rights of young black men.

Since then, there has been a certain amount of public backlash against Mr. Scott. He has since said that his remarks were taken out of context. Quite frankly, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Ron Scott.

There is always a need to police the police department, whether it's in Detroit or anywhere else. Citizen groups, such as the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, have a legitimate role in addressing allegations of police misconduct and ensuring that it never happens in the first place.

However, when a person - any person - is standing at the scene where a police officer has been killed in the line of duty, the only remark that it is ever appropriate to make is to offer condolences to the officer's family. For anyone to make any other comment, is simply inappropriate.

The Board of Police Commissioners, the City Council, and newspaper editorial pages all exist for a reason. They provide citizens an opportunity to air grievances and present arguments, even ones that might be unpleasant to hear. Mr. Scott should have made his comments there and not at the scene where Officer Huff was murdered, especially while his body was still warm.

Mr. Scott has spent much of this week attempting to backpedal. He has repeatedly argued that his remarks were taken out of context. He has pointed out that the first thing he said was to express sadness about the death of one officer and the wounding of four others. He has insisted that his comments about police brutality where made with the best of intentions.

Quite frankly, I don't care. Mr. Scott is still an idiot.

The only thing he should have said at that instant was to express his condolences to the fallen police officers. Everything else should have waited for a better time and place.

Activist clarifies remarks after cop killing | Detroit Free Press

Update - Saturday, May 8 @ 11:38 a.m.
Ron Scott and Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans were on Fox 2's Let It Rip to discuss the shooting of Officer Huff, Mr. Scott's comments, and the response to said comments. Video from that exchange, as well as video of Mr. Scott's comments, are are all available below.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Strip Club Manager Arrested for Hiring 14 Year Old

The Detroit Police Department, working with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, has arrested and charged the manager of All Stars (14541 W. Eight Mile) with child sexually abusive activity for allegedly employing a 14-year-old girl as a topless dancer, Chief Warren Evans announced today. The club is approximately seven miles from the Warrendale neighborhood.

Officers from DPD’s Mobile Strike Force and Sex Crimes unit on Wednesday evening arrested Andrew Hutson, 31, at the club after Prosecutor Kym Worthy signed a warrant charging him with a 20-year-felony. Because of this and many other problems at the club, Chief Evans said he will move to have the club stripped of its business and liquor licenses.

Andrew Hutson - Scum Bag

According to investigators, the girl has danced topless at the club for approximately two months, typically working several nights per week. The girl’s mother, who investigators say has tried unsuccessfully to control her daughter, says the girl suffers from mild mental retardation. Investigators say the girl would claim to be staying at a friend’s house and go to the club. On an average night, the girl allegedly would earn upwards of $350, much of which she had to turn over to the club for the privilege of dancing and to tip the DJ and other employees.

“It is sickening by itself that this defendant allegedly knowingly allowed a child to dance in his establishment,” Chief Evans said. “But to profit from it is a whole other level of exploitation.”

Once the mother learned what her daughter was really doing, she retrieved her from the club and immediately called police.

“The facts alleged in this case are truly disturbing because this is exploitation of a young female at the most base level,” said Prosecutor Worthy. “Our youth are not some cheap commodity, to be used and cast aside. We are sending a clear message that if you hire underage women you will face criminal charges.”

Detroit Police have had numerous dealings with All Stars, Chief Evans said. In the past six years, there have been three fatal shootings and eleven non-fatal shootings at the club. Consistently, Chief Evans said, club operators have attempted to thwart DPD’s efforts to inspect the establishment and have even filed lawsuits claiming harassment by police in an apparent effort to avoid being subject to routine inspections.

“It is exactly because of the type of alleged behavior we have uncovered here that we make a point of conducting inspections,” Chief Evans said. “This case clearly validates the serious concerns we have had about this club in particular.”

Armed with this and other information, Chief Evans said his officers now will begin the process of attempting to have the club’s business and liquor licenses either suspended or revoked, citing a clear pattern of illegal activity and a lack of cooperation with law enforcement. Last year, the city was successful in shutting down another night club with a history of violence and other illegal activity, the Platinum Lounge.

“Many of these clubs are centers for significant crimes, including a large number of shootings.” Chief Evans said. “We are heading into summer when that type of activity increases. The operators of these establishments need to understand that we are going to be vigorously enforcing violations of any kind and we will go after their licenses if they don’t clean up their act.”

Hutson is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in 36th District Court.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Detroit Police Overtime Reductions Save Taxpayers Nearly $7 Million

Since Mayor Dave Bing appointed Chief of Police Warren Evans, the Detroit Police Department has reduced its overtime spending by nearly 30%, resulting in a $6.7 million savings so far this fiscal year. The city’s fiscal year begins July 1st and ends June 30th of each year.

In the first three quarters (July-March) of fiscal year 2008-09, the Detroit Police Department spent approximately $23.3 million in overtime expenses, the vast majority on sworn personnel. Chief Evans was appointed just days into the new fiscal year. During the same period of the 2009-10 fiscal year, the DPD has spent $16.6 million. This is a 28.6% reduction, or $6.7 million in savings.

“Mayor Bing has directed all city operations to manage their resources more effectively and that’s what we are doing,” Chief Evans said.

“Without any additional revenue, we have returned 100 officers to street patrol and have registered consistent reductions in homicides and non-fatal shootings. We also have made great strides in improving our average 911 response times,” Chief Evans said. “The fact that we have been able to do this while reducing overtime expenses by nearly 30 percent demonstrates that the Detroit Police Department is beginning to run more efficiently and effectively.”

Chief Evans said he has been able to reduce the department’s overtime without negatively impacting services largely by moving the 100 officers back to patrol duties, which is where a majority of overtime is generated. He also says that stronger performance accountability standards and closer scrutiny of how and when overtime is approved has played a big role.

“In addition to relying far less on the use of overtime in general, we are being much more strategic with the overtime that we do use,” Chief Evans said. “We don’t want overtime to be an excuse for not identifying a more efficient way of getting things done. Overtime should be the last resort, not the first.”

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jeri Ryan is Warrendale's Official Celebrity

I always pay attention to how people find their way to the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog. Thanks to Google Analytics, I'm able to keep track of these things.

It turns out that one of the most common sources of traffic to my site is simply people who type "Jeri Ryan" into an internet search engine. On average, one new person every day comes to the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog every day as a result of this.

This is the result of my blog post last summer about 7 of the 9 people that I endorsed for the Detroit City Council making it past the primary. I entitled that post 7 of 9 and only later remembered that was also the character Jeri Ryan is famous for playing on Star Trek: Voyager.

Ever since then, there has been a steady trickle of Jeri Ryan fans coming to my site. They are a welcome addition to the hundred or so other people who visit my site each day for news about the Warrendale neighborhood and Detroit in general.

As a result, I would like to use my awesome authority as Warrendale's chief blogger to hereby proclaim Jeri Ryan to be the Official Celebrity of  the Warrendale, Detroit neighborhood. I'm sure Ms. Ryan will be honored by this, if she ever finds out about it.

Detroit Police Boost Emergency Response Time

Detroit's Police Chief Warren Evans announced this morning that the Detroit Police Department's average response time to emergency calls had dropped from 34 minutes to 24 minutes. He credits this improvement to having an additional 100 police officers on the streets as well as a Mobile Strike Force in high crime areas.

I commend Chief Evans and everyone else within the Detroit Police Department for making this improvement. This represents a 29% improvement in less than year.

However, I am also painfully aware of the fact that the response time in Detroit is still dramatically higher than national averages. The New York Police Department took a certain amount of heat earlier this year when their average response time climbed all the way to 4 minutes, 10 seconds. Most major departments have an average response time of approximately 8 minutes.

Regardless, I am proud of the fact that the Detroit Police Department is moving in the right direction and is doing so at an impressive rate.

Detroit police boost emergency response time | The Detroit News

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Homicides Down 25% in First Quarter of 2010

Detroit’s murder rate, as well as its rate of non-fatal shootings, dropped significantly compared to levels one year ago, Police Chief Warren C. Evans announced last week.

Criminal homicides in the first quarter of 2010 were down 25% over the first quarter of 2009. This marks the third consecutive quarter, Mr. Evans's entire tenure, in which criminal homicides have been down over the same quarter the previous year.

Meanwhile, the rate of non-fatal shootings also continues to decline. In the first three months of 2009, there were 232 non-fatal shootings while there were 200 in the first quarter of 2010, a reduction of 15%.

Mr. Evans gives the lion’s share of the credit to the officers of his Mobile Strike Force, who have been deployed daily into the city’s crime “hot spots” since the new unit was established in October. The Strike Force consists of the Gang Enforcement, Tactical Mobile, Traffic Enforcement, Fugitive Apprehension and Firearms Investigation units. Twice daily, Strike Force staff analyzes crime data and trends and deploy officers into the areas believed to pose the greatest potential for violent crime on that shift.

“Just as firemen rush into a fire, these officers go into the hottest areas of the city where we see the most gun violence and the risk to their own safety is the highest,” Mr. Evans said. “They are getting guns off the street, as well as the people who use them, and are making Detroit a safer place for its citizens.”

Since Mayor Dave Bing appointed Mr. Evans, homicides have declined every month but one (August) compared to the year prior. Before Chief Evans took the helm at the Detroit Police Department midway through 2009, criminal homicides in the city already were 50% higher than the first half of 2008. The city was on track to see an astonishing 500-plus murders for the year had that trend continued unabated.

In stark contrast, however, criminal homicides in the second six months of 2009 - Mr. Evans half - were down 20% over the same time frame of 2008 and the city finished the year with 364, up only slightly from the 2008 total of 342.

In addition to reducing the number of homicides, Mr. Evans said that his Homicide Unit continues to perform exceptionally well, closing 65% of the number of new cases it recorded in the first quarter. Homicide closures at the Detroit Police Department are based on obtaining a warrant and making an arrest. Closed cases include ones solved from the current year or prior years.

Helping to boost the Department’s closure rate have been dozens of homicide arrests made by the Special Response Team, which Evans has assigned to serve high-risk murder warrants.

“The Detroit Police Department used to lag behind most other departments nationally, but during the past nine months has maintained a closure rate at or above the national average,” Mr. Evans said. “To so significantly reduce our homicides and increase our closure rate at the same time is remarkable and is making an impact.”

Mr. Evans said that the combination of the Strike Force approach and the arrest of such a significantly higher number of murder suspects has changed the dynamic in the city long plagued by spiraling homicide rates.

“Because of these two things, there are fewer illegal guns on the streets of Detroit and fewer of the people known to kill with them,” Mr. Evans said. “We have a strategy – a formula – that that clearly is working.”

Mr. Evans pointed to the arrest of three individuals over the weekend made by officers of the Mobile Strike Force. Officers stopped to investigate the individuals, who were impeding traffic by standing in the middle of the street. As they approached the suspects, they were all observed to wearing rubber gloves. One of the suspects then reached into a backpack, which officers discovered contained a handgun. When officers searched the other two men, they recovered handguns from them as well.

“This is a perfect example of how our proactive approach to enforcement is preventing crimes,” Mr. Evans said. “We don’t know what kind of crime these individuals may have been planning to commit, but it certainly had at least the potential to end up with a homicide.”

Now you can anonymously text crime tip information to Detroit Police at 847411 (TIP411). All tips must begin with the letters "DPD" followed by the tip information.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gang Squad TV

I invite readers to tune into the National Geographic Channel at 10:00 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday, April 11, to see Inside Detroit's Gang Squad. This is a one-hour documentary show centered around the efforts of the Detroit Police Department's Gang Enforcement Unit's efforts to reduce gun violence in the city.

Under Chief Warren Evans, the Gang Enforcement Unit is now a part of DPD's Mobile Strike Force, which has played an important role in getting more than 1,000 illegal guns off the streets of Detroit so far this year. This squad has also helped to reduce Detroit's homicide rate by approximately 25% over the past year.

The infamous bus stop shooting, which happened last year in the Warrendale neighborhood, is featured prominently in this program. The one year anniversary of that shooting will be upon us soon.

If you're not able to see this program tomorrow evening, it will also air:
  • Monday, April 12 at 1:00 a.m.;
  • Wednesday, April 14 at 9:00 p.m.;
  • Thursday, April 15 at midnight;
  • Sunday, April 18 at 3:00 p.m.; and
  • Wednesday, April 21 at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blogger Says: Got'cha

Detroit police officer and political blogger John Bennett brought controversy into the Michigan Secretary of State race by posting photos on his Detroit Uncovered site accusing Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Daniel Baxter, Detroit's director of elections, of illegally using city-issued cars to attend a campaign event on Sunday.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Ms. Winfrey's bid to become the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State this year. She is opposed for the nomination by Wayne State Law Professor Jocelyn Benson. Four Republicans are currently in the race as well to replace our current Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land.

Metro Times - News Views: Blogger says: Got'cha

Monday, March 22, 2010

Suspect Arrested in Double Murder Case

Detroit Police Chief Warren C. Evans announced an arrest this afternoon in connection with a double homicide that happened earlier this month on Glastonbury Street, which is approximately five miles north of the Warrendale neighborhood.

Derrick Smith, 42, was arrested in California by the U.S. Marshals Service in response to a series of tips that the police received from residents. He will be extradited back to Michigan to face trial on murder charges.

Video from the Chief's press conference is available below.

I commend everyone who involved in putting this individual behind bars.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Job Posting: U.S. Bureau of the Census

It's 2010.

Among other things, this means that the U. S. Census Bureau is hiring temporary, part-time workers to help with the constitutionally mandated, once a decade census. These short-term jobs offer good pay, flexible hours, paid training, and reimbursement for authorized work-related expenses, such as mileage incurred while conducting census work.

Best of all, census takers work right in their own communities.

More details about these jobs are available here.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Job Posting: Historian

I throughly enjoy posting about job openings that come my way, even when it's for something that isn't actually in the Warrendale neighborhood.

After the efforts to redevelop Kosciusko Elementary, there has been a lot more people with an interest in historic preservation reading this blog.  Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to pass along news of an opening for a historian at the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.

This person will assist in processing project information for review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended.  This position will be responsible for timely reviews of Weatherization Assistance Program projects for compliance with Section 106.

A master's degree in history, art history, museum studies, anthropology, American Studies, architectural history, historic preservation, or archival management is required for this job.

Additional details about this position are available here.