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Police Chief Acknowledges Detroit’s Ranking As 2nd Most Violent City

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Detroit Police James Craig speaks to officers. (credit: Jon Hewett/WWJ, File)

Detroit Police James Craig speaks to officers. (credit: Jon Hewett/WWJ, File)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit’s top cop is commenting on a newly released FBI violent crime report that names Detroit the nation’s second most violent city in the nation. Flint, about 70 miles away, retains the top spot.

“I do not like the fact that Detroit is recognized as the second most violent city, based on the FBI report,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig, speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

But, says Craig, there is a bright spot.

“A number that really gets folks’ attention is the homicide rate,” Craig said. “Right now, year-to-date, we’re at a 10 percent reduction in homicides.

“… I still think our numbers are too high. I’m excited we’re trending in a downward way,” he added.

Craig, who’s been on the job in the city since June, says putting officers back on eight-hour days — instead of the 12-hour days they’re currently working — will help push crime numbers down.

“One of the issues I was confronted with was low morale in the police department,” said Craig. “You know, I’ve had good success in the last two departments … When I went into the last department, the Cincinnati Police Department, morale was down, and one of the things that we did was change the work schedule.”

“I’ve seen in … actually three other departments, that when morale goes up, crime goes down,” said Craig. “It’s an interesting concept, but it’s a factor.”

The shorter shift plan will be in place by the end of October

As reported in the Detroit News, Flint, Michigan’s seventh-largest city, saw an overall rise in violent crime in 2012 — which includes murder, aggravated assaults, robberies and rapes. The city reported 2,774 violent crimes in 2012, nearly 400 more than 2011’s total of 2,392, the FBI reported.

The FBI reports Detroit saw a small drop in violent crime with 15,011 incidents in 2012, compared to 15,245 in 2011.

Flint recorded 2,730 violent crimes per 100,000 people last year. Detroit saw 600 fewer violent crimes per capita with 2,123 violent crimes per 100,000.

Flint also had the most murders per capita (62) for cities with more than 100,000 residents. Detroit ranked second with 54.6 per 100,000 with 441 murders, followed by New Orleans (53.2); Jackson, Miss., (35.8) and St. Louis, Mo. (35.5).

Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock has not commented on the FBI report.

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