Improvement of Public Safety is Part of New Plan to Revitalize Detroit

Ralph Godbee, Jr. - Detroit Chief of Police

Although it’s been years since Detroit was named the “murder capital” – and years since it has actually been true – the city still can’t seem to shake the moniker.

This was one of the primary concerns of Chief of Police Ralph Godbee Jr. at the Transformation Detroit media briefing yesterday, June 21. Godbee’s speech focused heavily on his commitment to improving the safety of Detroit and its residents.

In cooperation with Mayor Dave Bing, the Detroit Police Department has come up with a three-prong plan for tackling the growing concerns with safety. The plan will consist of:

  • Reducing violent crime
  • Promoting community engagement in policing, and
  • Becoming an over-all model police agency

Some work has already been done to implement these ideas, and according to Godbee, the year-to-date rate of Part I crimes has decreased 12%. Work has also begun on promoting community engagement through volunteer based programs like Detroit 300, which has over 1,500 members committed to helping make Detroit safer.

The Detroit Police Department has also begun participating in holistic youth violence prevention programs, and Detroit’s program was actually voted one of the best in the U.S. Other community programs include MADE Men (Men Affirming Discipline and Education) and Brothers on Patrol. The department has even gone so far as to revamp 99% of its policy to now be the golden standard in safety.

Although progress has been made, Godbee is realistic about the challenges that still lie ahead. The police department still struggles with compliance, and will take a heavy hit with this year’s budget cuts. However he is optimistic that a turn around can be made, “Detroit is as safe as other large cities, the business and entertainment districts are especially safe, and we have one of the safest downtowns in the U.S.”

Do you think there has been improvement in the safety of Detroit? What more do you think could be done?

Photo credit: City of Detroit

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