Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — DETROIT (AP) — Detroit officials on Thursday announced the latest effort to reduce murders, robberies and other violent crime across the troubled city.
DETRO1T ONE, announced by Mayor Dave Bing and U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, is the third crime-fighting initiative in just over a year to be launched in the city. The program is modeled after one in Washington, D.C., which is credited with helping reduce homicides there from a high of 479 in the 1990s to 88 last year, McQuade said.
“We’ve certainly worked hard in the past, but when something’s not working ... you’ve got to try something else,” McQuade told reporters.
Homicides, robberies and car thefts increased last year in Detroit even as overall crime declined by 2.5 percent.
The 386 criminal homicides were a 12 percent increase over 2011. Shootings accounted for 333 of the homicides, and that was up from 302 in 2011 and 254 in 2010.
DETRO1T ONE identifies hot spots for crime and also focuses on drugs and enforcing traffic laws. It kicked off March 7 and over six days spread across two weeks resulted in 245 arrests, including 93 for felonies. Police seized 41 guns and conducted 105 drug raids.
“We’re coming to get you,” Bing said of people committing crime in Detroit. “That’s it. That’s the message. You can’t hide anymore.”
DETRO1T ONE brings together Detroit police, Michigan State Police, the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agencies will meet regularly to share resources and information and operate citywide instead of in small geographic areas.
The agencies will be looking at the “worst of the worst offenders” and “going to after them,” McQuade said.
Assistant U.S. attorneys from her office also will be assigned to Detroit police districts.
“Our prosecutors will know the offenders ... and will be on call 24/7 to respond when somebody needs a search warrant, an arrest warrant or just legal advice,” McQuade said.
DETRO1T ONE follows other recent efforts to crack down on crime in the city.
Late last summer, Gov. Rick Snyder announced an initiative for Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw. Two state police squads began working in Detroit last July. Wayne County sheriff’s deputies started patrolling streets inside the city in June 2012.
In Feb. 2012, McQuade said federal authorities would increase their presence across Detroit’s crime-plagued east side. The previous fall, stiffer prosecutions of gun crimes in one east side zip code were announced.
Detroit police also launched Project CRUSADERS in 2009. Dozens of officers swooped in on high-crime areas to round up illegal guns, drugs and criminals sought on arrest warrants. Within the first two days, 200 arrests were made.