Partner programs like Project Green Light, Ceasefire Detroit and the Detroit Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center helped take a big bite out of crime in Detroit in 2017, and officials are putting more strategies in place to ensure the trend continues.
Since 2016, nearly every category of major crime in Detroit has seen significant and sustained reductions.
- Total violent crimes are down 12 percent.
- Total property offenses, including car theft and burglary, are down 13 percent.
- Homicides are down 9 percent.
- Non-fatal shootings are down 19 percent.
- Carjackings are down 41 percent.
There were 267 criminal homicides in the city last year, the lowest number in 51 years. The last time Detroit saw fewer homicides was 1966, when it recorded 214.
The city also registered double-digit reductions in non-fatal shootings and robberies, including carjackings, in 2017.
The numbers were released January 4 by Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Interim US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Dan Lemisch, Sheriff Benny Napoleon, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and other local, state and federal law enforcement partners.
“The steady progress we are making to reduce violent crime in our city is a result of the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the Detroit Police Department and all of our partner agencies,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “This work begins and ends with each of them.”
Duggan and Craig credit the sustained reductions in violent crime to four key strategies:
- Hiring more officers: Over the last 2 years, the Detroit Police Department has hired more than 500 new officers and moved more than 100 from desk jobs to the street. After attrition, there are nearly 250 more police officers on the street today than two years ago and there are another 139 officers in training in the police academy right now.
- Better technology: DPD has significantly improved its real-time crime intelligence gathering and sharing among law enforcement partners to give officers the tools they need to do their jobs. Late last year DPD opened its new Real Time Crime Center, which is its new hub for all crime intelligence
Ceasefire Detroit: This multi-agency effort has been designed specifically to address gang-related gun crime and over the past two years has been implemented in about half of DPD precincts. Ceasefire was launched first in August 2015 in the 5th & 9th precincts and expanded to the 6th, 8th and 12th precincts in June 2016. In 2017, their first full year with Ceasefire, the 6th, 8th and 12th Precincts saw most of the largest drop in homicides and non-fatal shootings in the city.
- Project Green Light: This revolutionary approach to community safety has grown dramatically since it was launched two years ago to include 231 gas stations, restaurants, party stores, residential buildings and more. The businesses are equipped with high definition cameras that are monitored continuously at DPD’s Real Time Crime Center.
More changes are in the works in 2018, which Duggan and Craig say will continue the downward trend in crime. Ceasefire and Project Green Light will be expanded and more officers will be hired.
By the end of 2018:
- All precincts across the city will have adopted Ceasefire Detroit. According to Craig, the 4th and 7th precincts have begun to implement Ceasefire.
- DPD will hire another 200 police officers, continuing its trend of adding additional new officers to the force on a regular basis.
- DPD will have approximately 400 Green Light partner businesses and is working with groups of business owners to develop the city’s first Green Light Corridor, where all businesses will become participants in the program.
The officials credited Project Green Light with the reduction in carjackings. Since it was launched two years ago, carjackings are down 43 percent. In 2015 there were 532 carjackings in the city. That number went down to 381 in 2016 and to 303 in 2017.
Ceasefire Detroit has also been a major contributor to the reduction in crime.
It is a comprehensive strategy to stop gun violence perpetrated by gangs, groups and street crews with coordinated enforcement, prevention, intervention and re-entry efforts. Key strategies include vertical prosecution with the state and federal prosecutors and wrap-around services to provide housing, transportation, job training and placement.
There are “call in” meetings where program partners from Detroit Police Department, the Mayor’s Office, Wayne County Prosecutor and US Attorney’s Office sit down face-to-face with known gang members to secure commitments to resolve their issues without guns and to let them know if they break their word, coordinated law enforcement will go after them.
In addition, the program offers gang members job training and placement, transportation and housing if they choose to leave gang activity.
In 2016-17, the Detroit office of the Department of Justice (DOJ) secured 118 federal indictments against members of several major gang operating in the city, including the 7 Mile Bloods (22), Playboy Crips (14), Smokecamp/OPB (14), 6 Mile Chedda Gang (13), Rollin’ 60’s Crips (13), Bandgang (8), A1 Killers, Hustle Boys, Latin Counts and more.
“If you look at how other major cities have been able to deliver sustained reductions in violent crime, it has been a process of identifying the right strategies and building on them year by year,” says Craig. “It also involves having the right partners and we have been fortunate to have great partners at the local, state and federal level working on this.”