Monday, August 15, 2011

Changes at the Detroit Police Department

A lot has happened within the Detroit Police Department in recent weeks. I want to take a moment to recap some of those things.

First, WWJ reported late last week that the Detroit Police Department has raided a total of 90 homes since the beginning of July. Those raids have resulted in 616 arrests and the confiscation of 69 firearms as well as the seizure of $3.5 million in illegal narcotics and $360,000 in cash and narcotics proceeds. That is a fantastic accomplishment. I commend every officer who was a part of making that happen and hope that there will be more of them in the near future.

Second, Chief Ralph Godbee announced the Lighthouse Project on Friday. This will allow the Detroit Police Department to access security cameras that are already installed around buildings in downtown Detroit to better deploy police officers where they are needed. More importantly, the department will deploy an additional 50 police officers per shift to respond to situations in downtown Detroit. These are officers who had previously been assigned to administrative duties within the department.

This project will also create a series of "safe havens" downtown. These are places where residents and businesses can go for anything from directions to emergency assistance. The following locations downtown will be marked with a blue sign to indicate their status as a safe haven:
  • Atheneum Hotel;
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield;
  • Comerica Park;
  • Compuware headquarters in Campus Martius;
  • Detroit Athletic Club;
  • Detroit Medical Center;
  • Detroit Opera House;
  • Detroit Police Headquarters;
  • Detroit RiverFront Conservancy;
  • DTE Energy;
  • Federal government buildings downtown;
  • Ford Field;
  • Fox Theatre;
  • General Motors Renaissance Center;
  • Greektown Casino-Hotel;
  • Hilton Garden Inn;
  • Joe Louis Arena;
  • Marriott Courtyard;
  • MGM Grand Detroit;
  • Motor City Casino Hotel;
  • Wayne County Sheriff locations; and 
  • Westin Book-Cadillac.
Again, this is a great first step. I look forward to this being rolled out in areas outside of downtown Detroit.
    Of course, I believe that it's important to remember why all of this is badly needed. The Detroit Free Press reports that, in just one day last week, fifteen people were shot in nine locations in Detroit. Nine of those fifteen victims were fatalities.

    We still have a lot of work to do in the town.

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