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Why Is Detroit So Dangerous And Will A New Chief of Police Reduce Crime?

Posted by 
Ash Jurberg
Ash Jurberg
 2021-05-12

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Detroit at nightPhoto by William Duggan on Unsplash

It probably comes as no surprise to Detroit residents that Detriot is officially the most dangerous city in the United States. It is the second year in a row that Detroit has held this title. The violent crime rate is a staggering 19.5 per 1000 people. This compares to the United States average of 4 per 1000 people. In fact, if you live in Detroit, you have a 1 in 51 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. So why is Detroit so riddled with crime, and what is the city of Detroit doing to stop this?

The disturbing statistics

Let us take a quick look at some of the statistics that lead to Detroit's unwanted number one title. There are 300 crimes per square mile in Detroit. The average across Michigan cities is 25 crimes per square mile, while across the country, it is 28.3. Even looking at less violent crimes that statistics are still bad. There are 42.81 victims of property crime per 1000 people in Detroit compared to the Michigan average of 15.85. So who is responsible for this?

Detroit Police Chief resigns.

After eight years as the head of the city's police department, James Craig resigned at a press conference on Monday. Despite rumors that he will challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in next year's gubernatorial race, he didn't confirm or deny questions regarding this speculation.

"I'm leaving in a good place, I love this city and I love this state," Detroit Police Chief, James Craig

The Detroit Police Department has been endured public criticism for lack of transparency, accountability, and its use of excessive force during Black Lives Matter protests last year following the murder of George Floyd. There have been extensive calls for police reform, not only in Detroit but across the United States. Despite the high crime rates, Craig is proud of his time as Detroit Police Chief. He mentioned both Project Greenlight and the Real-Time Crime Center as his career accomplishments. He did cite the big backlog in courts as part of the problem and said these were factors outside of his control.

"I'm all for some kind of reform when it comes to bail, but let's use some common sense of judgment. Some people are sociopaths, some people are violent."Detroit Police Chief, James Craig
"Our profession, nationally, is in crisis. I've coined the phrase: Cops count, leadership matters. The vast majority do it right, and, let's face it, the aggression against our police officers is unlike anything I've ever witnessed."

Craig did earn the nickname of Hollywood Craig for his frequent television appearances.

Will the next police chief do better?

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he had tried to convince Craig to stay on but could not persuade him. He said that Craig brought stability to the department, as before his appointment Detroit had gone through five police chiefs in five years.

"Morale was at an all-time low. Chief Craig brought professionalism to the police department." Detroit Mayor, Mike Duggan

Craig's possible replacements include Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barrenwho spent 21 years with Detroit police, former Detroit Police Assistant Chief James White, and Detroit Police First Assistant Chief Lashinda Stair. Hopefully, one of them can make an impact on Detroit's high crime rates and make Detroit a safer place for all residents and visitors.

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