DETROIT (WWJ) There’s good news and bad news in the city’s latest crime report, with an overall downward trend, but spikes in two areas: larceny and robbery.
At his first press conference, Detroit’s new Police Chief James Craig said year-to-date, criminal activity has dropped 3 percent overall, and that includes violent crime.
“Aggravated assaults are down almost 8, burglaries are down 14, larceny is up 7, rape is down 4, robbery is up 7, auto theft is down 2 percent,” Craig said, breaking down the latest numbers.
Saying there’s a direct correlation between good police morale and lower crime rates, Craig promised to quickly fill the assistant chief’s job with an existing member of the Detroit Police Department. He also said he plans to open shuttered police precincts and keep them open 24 hours a day, upgrade vehicles, replace expired bulletproof vests, and get a Hispanic outreach program under way in southwest Detroit.
Former Chief Ralph Godbee instituted “virtual” police precincts to save dollars, but Craig said he’ll move back to actual stations staffed with real live officers.
“The city of Los Angeles, Cincinnati, police stations are open around the clock and they’re going to be open around-the-clock in the city of Detroit, that’s my commitment,” Craig said.
In a bit of morale-boosting news, Craig said 9 of 10 towers related to the department’s dispatch radio system are now working. It was down last Friday for several hours, forcing police, fire, and EMS workers to use cell phones to communicate.