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Detroit One, Public Safety Initiative Announced By Mayor Dave Bing, Includes State Police Patrols

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DETROIT ONE
File photo. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing Thursday announced a collaborative public safety effort called Detroit One. In the photo, Bing listens to a question during an interview with the Associated Press in Detroit, Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP/Paul Sancya) | AP/Paul Sancya

A new strategy to reduce gun violence announced by Mayor Dave Bing will include regular patrols of the city by the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

"This program brings together law enforcement and the entire community as one powerful force in our efforts to reduce violent crime in Detroit," Bing said during a Thursday press briefing on the city's northwest side. "Detroit One's overall goal is to reduce the number of gun-related violent crimes by 25 percent this year."

While the Detroit One initiative was announced on Thursday, the strategy has already been rolled out across Detroit. Bing said they've already begun a new policing strategy that identifies hot spots for drug-related crime, including raids, collaboration with federal bureaus, increased traffic enforcement and more cops on the streets. Officials said that over the first six days of this strategy, no violent crimes were committed in the target locations in Northeast and Northwest Detroit.

The statistics from the past six days of the Detroit One collaboration say that DPD officers and Detroit One partners made 245 arrests, including 93 felony charges. They also confiscated 41 firearms. A staggering 105 raids of drug homes were conducted over six days, resulting in over $2.7 million worth of drugs and almost $55,000 confiscated from the raids.

"We know who you are," Bing said, addressing the city's worst criminals. "You're not going to hide anymore. We know who you are -- we're coming for you."

The Detroit One initiative also includes stepping up traffic enforcement. Officers issued 4,586 traffic violations over six days and towed almost 500 vehicles.

The street patrols are just one part of a new collaborative effort that Mayor Dave Bing announced at the press conference. He was joined on stage by U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. Her Eastern District has committed to prosecuting any violent criminals federally, if possible. Prosecutors from the Wayne County and U.S. Attorney's Office will be assigned to Detroit Police Department districts and precincts.

"The idea is that prosecutors are assigned to the police districts, so that they're meeting regularly with the officers there and the agents who are assigned to the district," she said. "They know who are the worst of the worst that they're looking for. They're proactively leading investigations and they're on call 24/7, when you need a search warrant, an arrest warrant or just legal advice."

Detroit interim Police Chief Chester Logan also appeared at the briefing and emphasized the department's commitment to heavy saturation policing.

"I can't tell you where we'll be at this weekend," he said, "but we're coming to a neighborhood."

Detroit One program patterns itself after other programs that have seen drops in crime after cooperation from law enforcement agencies and community groups, according to Bing's release. It cites Washington D.C., which experienced a significant drop in homicides after embarking on a similar program.

“The value of teamwork has been clear to me throughout my professional career,” Mayor Bing said in his release. “Detroit One brings the principles of teamwork to law enforcement, as well as the community. I believe that by working together we can cause a significant drop in crime in our city.”

The city's high murder statistics for last year made for sobering news when they were released in January.

The total number of homicide deaths in the city climbed nine percent from 377 in 2011 to 411 in 2012, according to police figures. Only 25 of these deaths were classified as justifiable homicides.

A Detroit News analysis of homicides in cities with more than 200,000 people put Detroit's murder rate for the year at 53 per 100,000 residents -- the second highest in the nation after New Orleans.

These shocking figures made Detroit the focus of national attention. In fact, President Obama even made a reference to the city during a segment of his inaugural speech alluding to gun violence.

Involved in the comprehensive effort are a myriad number of state and federal law enforcement and community agencies. On the state level, the Detroit Police Department, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Governor’s Office, Michigan State Police; and Michigan Department of Corrections will all join the initiative.

In addition, Detroit One also involves members of the U.S. Attorney's Office, the ATF, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Michigan High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the U.S. Marshal's Service.

“Detroit One will expand the impact of law enforcement efforts throughout the metropolitan area,” said Michigan State Police Captain Monica Yesh in the release.