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.