City To Focus Federal Dollars On Deterring Crime, Blight
DETROIT (WWJ) – After a series of meetings it was announced that Detroit received millions of dollars to add police officers and to fund violence prevention and rehabilitation programs. One of those in on the announcement, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, says a good way to keep people out of prison is to help them after they’ve just gotten out.
“Because the research shows that offenders, two-thirds of them, are likely to re-offend when they get out of prison,” said McQuade. “But when those offenders receive some intervention so that they get some help with job skills or help with resume writing is really essential to preventing them from going back to a life of crime.”
“Just having more police officers, not only can they arrest people who are committing crimes but I think it helps deter crime. When people see that police presence – I think they are less likely to commit crime. If they think they are going to get caught – you know maybe they’ll think twice before they commit that crime,” she said.
In all, Attorney General Eric Holder, announced the city would receive over two million dollars, enough cash to put ten more cops on the streets.
Motor City Blight Busters, founder John George says he’s been dealing with blight and abandoned homes for years on the city’s west side.
He’s glad to see some federal help coming but would like to see money placed directly in the hands of the groups already doing the work.
“Cut the checks, get out of my way, let me do what we do,” said George. “We know what we want in our neighborhood, I don’t need a study, I don’t need a map, I don’t need fancy photos. We already know what we want.”
Dennis Nordmoe with Urban Neighborhood Initiatives told WWJ that, “The city has been working hard on demolition but we have a list of 150 homes in our neighborhood that are just the worst of the worst.”