Thursday, January 07, 2010

Detroit vs. Los Angeles

I had blogged before about how I believe that the City of Detroit, and the Detroit Police Department in particular, would be well served by looking at how things have worked in other cities and applying those lessons to our current challenges.  In particular, I've talked about Los Angeles.

Any comparison with Los Angeles has suddenly taken on a whole new level of significance.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles announced yesterday that his city's major crime rate had dropped 8.6% in 2009 and that its homicide rate had dropped 18%. Los Angeles only saw 314 murders last year, in spite of the fact that it has a population of more than 4 million people. By way of comparison, Detroit had 375 murders in 2009.

To put it more succinctly, Los Angeles has a population that is more than four times larger than Detroit's. However, they have fewer murders than us.

This is unacceptable.

I believe it is time for us to start demanding a lot more out of our elected officials. Mayor Dave Bing and Chief Warren Evans have enjoyed a relatively smooth honeymoon with few complaints from the media about their job performance.  However, every honeymoon must come to an end.

It's time for them to start producing results.

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