Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – The City of Detroit getting the first takers of an incentive plan to encourage its police officers to move from the suburbs back into the city.
WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas got a sneak peek at the home on Renfrew Street in Detroit’s Green Acres neighborhood. It’s the future home of the first Detroit police officer to take advantage of Mayor Dave Bing’s “Project 14″ plan.
Right now though, workers are busy overhauling the home off 8 Mile and Woodward, and Jacqueline Blair is ready to welcome her new neighbor.
“They have been working religiously on the house next door for about a month and I’m excited because I think that it’s really going to help the community to feel safe and to just improve our property value.”
Project 14 – which is police code for “return to normal operations” – was launched in February. The program allows officers to buy a home with a $1000 down payment. They would also have to qualify for a mortgage to cover the remaining costs.
Frank Hammer, President of the Green Acres Civic Association, was asked whether or not he thinks the community will feel safer with a police officer living on their streets.
“Actually, our safety is more based on our community involvement than having a police officer here. We have an incredibly active radio patrol and its citizens that are protecting citizens in collaboration with the police. So, having a police officer is great, but we really think that it’s a citizen involvement that really provides the safety in our neighborhood.”
The project is targeting homes in Detroit’s Boston-Edison, North Rosedale Park, Green Acres and East English Village communities. Bing said funding for the project will come from neighborhood stabilization funding, HUD and partnerships with local banks and credit unions. No tax dollars will be spent.