DETROIT (WXYZ) — Another summer surge of gun violence is expected in Detroit. Federal authorities and Detroit police are teaming up for Project Safe Neighborhoods, targeting hot spots in the 8th and 9th police precincts.
This means the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as well as the U.S. Attorneys' office will be “boots on the ground” with the Detroit Police Department to make immediate decisions on people arrested and whether they should be hit with federal gun charges.
At this point last year, 420 people had been shot. This year, 320 people have been shot with 100 killed. Those are considered urban shootings — not mass shootings — and are the focus of this plan.
“We are going for the most violent people, the most violent groups, and the most violent places. This summer enforcement strategy focused on that,” U. S. Attorney Dawn Ison said during a news conference.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan at the news conference said, “Most days, the day starts off with a feeling of sadness,” looking at overnight police reports on his cellphone.
Police Chief James White explains how the partnership will work inside their precincts saying, “People you see behind me, some of them are at the table reading those cases and saying, ‘We'll take that one. We'll take that violent offender, we'll help you pursue those and we'll prosecute those ones.’ And that's going to make a real impact for us.”
There are some in the city who have concerns this will go too far and police will violate civil rights.
Alvin Stokes is president of the Citywide Citizens Police Community Relations who told 7 Action News, “If there are four fellas standing on the corner, they may get searched, harassed or whatever. What my thought is if you're not doing anything wrong, then you shouldn't have an issue with this particular program. We're tired as far as citizens of getting caught up in the crossfire.”
White responded with, “We're going to do everything we can to make the city safer. We're going to do it constitutionally, but I'm not going to apologize for locking somebody up with a gun. I'm not I'm not going to apologize for enforcing the law.”
This program runs through summer and the Labor Day holiday weekend.