01 May 2012

Crime in Detroit Is Hard to Control

Story first appeared on The Detroit News.

Crime across the city inched up in most major categories compared to last year, and despite a drop in homicides, the statistics are sobering.

The crime figures were released during a forum that updated residents on incidents so far this year and how police are tackling issues affecting their neighborhoods.

Through Monday, the city had 98 homicides — four fewer than the same period last year, the department said.

Meanwhile, for the period ending April 22, larcenies were up 2.57 percent from 2011, to 5,107; assaults rose 1.7 percent to 8,476; and burglaries increased 1.7 percent to 4,848.

Authorities say at a time when Detroit's fiscal problems call for cutting more officers and slashing the police budget, the figures underscore a greater need for a change in the city culture, including urging residents to become more proactive.

This is bigger than just the Police Department. This is a community issue. This is about all of the community coming together.  One murder is too much for the city.  Cincinnati Criminal Lawyers feel that a metro area such as Detroit should have an ample police force.

There are 300 fewer officers and more guns on the street, which forces the department to juggle crime with fewer resources. The areas that have the most violent issues tie up a tremendous amount of resources.

As part of a move to boost police presence in neighborhoods, virtual precincts have been launched that move more officers into the streets.

But some residents worry there still aren't enough cops out, or say some areas do not receive as much attention.

Other residents complained about increased efforts to cut back on scrap metal thefts in abandoned homes and other structures.

Police officials on Monday said that the department is continuing to monitor response times, improving its compliance with federal oversight, exploring ways to boost its reserve officers and is expanding outreach such as a program that mentors ex-felons.

The police chief called on residents to act as the department's "eyes and ears" when it comes to crime.

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