Bankole’s Beef: Does Detroit Have a Handle on Crime?

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Almost everyday someone is getting killed in the city. Whether it’s early in the morning or in broad daylight.

At the end of the day the question is whether Detroit has a handle on the escalating crime we are witnessing in Motown?

The city’s premier law enforcement apparatus – the Detroit Police Department- tells us they are doing the best they can. Residents and others outside the law enforcement business see things differently. Because often when you call police for intervention during a crime situation it’s unlikely they will show up.

Why?

Because of the dwindling of resources and the fact that the men and women in blue are stretched out since we don’t have enough of them in the streets.

A city that brags about been a 21st century metropolis cannot do so if it doesn’t have a handle on crime. Let’s be realistic about the fact that we can’t keep talking about moving Detroit forward if crime continues to dominate the headlines of the evening news.

A conference to tackle crime organized by Wayne State University was held last week. Key at the conference was how the community and the police should work together. The panel of speakers spoke about the growing need for law enforcement and the community to come together and fight crime. Point taken.

But in order to that you need leaders who understand how that works and who will convey that sense of urgency in the community.

You can’t build community relations behind the mahogany desk of your office. That means you have to get out there and show a demonstrable commitment to community relations.

Already some of this is being done. But in a time of crisis the message has to be clear: we need all hands on deck.

Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt has done an excellent job of making Midtown a safe hub for everyone who lives and does business in the growing business district.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee’s job should be given more priority at city hall. We can’t be talking about a safe Detroit when people are being murdered daily. And the answer from city hall is: more cuts in public safety.

You can’t cut your way out of crime. Put resources in the police department and in the community and make it work. You don’t need a residence police scholar from Oxford or Harvard Universities to figure that out for Detroit. It’s called common sense community policing.Crime.jpg

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