Detroit’s Homicide Rates and Violent Crimes Decline in 2013

Is Detroit a safe city?

How many people were murdered last year in Detroit?

The numbers are in and it’s finally time to see if all the hard work put in by the Detroit Police Department has paid off.

For many years now, Detroit has been thought of as a dangerous city. Whatever the contributing factors to that reputation were or are, the bottom line is that Detroit deserves better.

The year, 2012, proved to be the deadliest year in Detroit since 1994. Homicide rates for that year soared to 55 homicides per 100,000 people. To give some perspective to that number, New York City’s statistic for that same year was 5 homicides per 100,000 people.

Changes needed to happen to protect the residents of Detroit and changes started happening.

2013 Changes that Contributed to Reducing Detroit’s Homicide Rates and Violent Crimes

  • Detroit One
    Last year, ex-Mayor Dave Bing started a program to help reduce the gun violence in Detroit. You can read more about the three pronged system known as Detroit One in an article I wrote called, Detroit’s Plan to Cut Gun Violence.
  • 12 Hour Police Shift Change
    Even while homicide rates were rising, Detroit’s Police Chief, James Craig, changed tactics by getting rid of the 12 hours shift for the Detroit Police Department. Instead of 12 hour shifts, 8 hour shifts were offered in their place with the ability to volunteer for a 10 hour shift.
  • Fighting Crime Top Priority
    Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, declared in July that fighting crime in Detroit was a top priority. He backed that up by supplying the Detroit Police Department with 50 new squad cars, stun guns, on-body video cameras, and bullet proof vests.
  • Operation Mistletoe
    While Operation Mistletoe was only one of the many raids that were conducted at the end of the year in Detroit, it was by far the biggest. Led by Police Chief James Craig, that Detroit police were armed with 20 warrants in hand and arrested 37 people during the raid. After the raid was completed, the police passed out care packages to the residents of that area.

Have These Changes Made a Difference?

Between 2012 and 2013 there was a 14% decline in homicides in the City of Detroit. According to the Detroit Free Press, the homicide rate for 2013 was 333.

The homicide rate is going down, but there is still a lot of work to do. Which of the changes do you believe has been most helpful in reducing the homicide rate in Detroit?