Reporting Charlie Langton
DETROIT (Talk Radio 1270) A plan to let Detroit neighborhoods pay a fee to fund private security, snow removal and other maintenance measures is getting a close look by at least one neighborhood association.
Karen Thomas Moore, head of the Rosedale Neighborhood Development Corporation, talked to Charlie Langton on his 1270 Talk Radio morning show about her support of assessing the fee.
“The nice thing about this is it will allow us to define security services … It might be extra patrols, it might be monitoring equipment or security cameras,” Moore said.
It falls under a law that was just updated by the Michigan Legislature that allows residents to join together to assess a fee of $50 to $100 per household to pay for security and other things. Moore and her team recently approached City Council to seek an ordinance that would allow their neighborhood to assess the fee.
“They’re happy to have neighborhoods try to come up with solutions,” Moore said, adding that City Council seemed to favorably receive the idea.
A pro bono attorney from the firm Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn is working with the association on the particulars, Moors added.
Urban planning interns from the University of Michigan conducted a neighborhood survey last summer, she said, and garnered 350 responses from 1,400 homes. About 85 percent of respondents said they were willing to pay $50 to $150 extra a year for private security.
What exactly would the cost be? Moore said it would differ by neighborhood and would be based on the number of services they agree to contract out.
“They’re going to be spreading this city-wide,” Moore said, adding that she doesn’t blame police for security issues because they’re doing the best they can with limited numbers and lots of calls to respond to.
She thinks the fact that neighbors don’t often know each other is a big part of the issue. “A lot of our neighbors tell us they don’t know the person living next door to them … We knew everybody (30 years ago) … That causes some due hardship because we don’t know our neighbors.”
This proposal comes in the wake of a rash of violent crime in Detroit: Noted religious leader Rev. Martin Winans, who officiated at Whitney Houston’s funeral, was beaten and carjacked at a Detroit gas station this week; two elderly women were robbed in their own home at gunpoint, where $8,000 was stolen from a home safe; an elderly man accidentally shot his wife when fending off an attacker; and an entire family was tied up with electrical wire in their basement by armed robbers – and that’s in just the last 10 days.