Mayor Dave Bing is asking Detroit residents to act as the “eyes and ears” of law enforcement to help battle crime, particularly gun violence, in the city.
Bing and other officials took part Wednesday in a “call to action,” which follows a 24-hour period earlier this month that saw nine people wounded and six killed.
Bing said the city could not arrest its way out of crime problems. He said community involvement is key.
“Please join us. Help us to take our city back,” he said. “Let’s get into the streets, let’s make sure that once again that the criminals that are out there know that there’s somebody watching them.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, Andrew Arena, said the organization is specially focusing on three areas to curb violence – intelligence, investigation and community outreach.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade also said her office has added more attorneys to its violent crime unit.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said that his office will focus on making sure dangerous and violent criminals are not released early.
Overall crime in Detroit is down about 10 percent from last year. But police Chief Ralph Godbee said the 230 homicides so far this year are 40 more than the same time in 2010.
Police officers last week were bumped up to working 12-hour shifts.
“Part of the extension of the shifts was to double my manpower during peak times,” Godbee said.
Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, said retaliation is not the answer.
“If you got frustration bring it to your church, your pastor. If you don’t have a faith-based person, talk to a friend or talk to a neighbor,” he said. “Take a cold shower. Do whatever you need to do.”