DETROIT (WWJ) - Calling all angels.
Detroit is looking for volunteers for Angel’s Night — its annual anti-arson effort around Halloween.
Officials are asking Detroiters to patrol their neighborhoods over the three-day period between Oct. 29 through Halloween to help prevent arson, especially in vacant houses.
Fire commissioner Don Austin says the city has gotten a handle on rogue fires in recent years–he’s hoping the trend will continue
“As the Mayor indicated, fires over the last three years have been trending down,” Austin said. “Some of the things that we are going to do on Angel’s Night is obviously a continuation of what we have done in the past. We’re going to activate the Emergency Operation Center where we’re going to have a unified command.”
It’s the inaugural Angel’s Night for new police chief James Craig, who credited Mayor Dave Bing and Emergancey Manager Kevin Orr for their efforts to improve the safety of the city.
“We’re gearing up to have the same impact this year,” Bing said. “My administration’s blight removal efforts have greatly reduced the number of vacant structures that are targeted by arsonists. Over the past four years that I’ve been in office, we’ve demolished about 8,300 dangerous and abandoned properties.”
There are several ways people can get involved.
The Watch Your Block Patrol Program organizes teams of volunteers to patrol streets in Detroit. Block clubs, Citizens’ Radio Patrols, community organizations and churches are encouraged to patrol a two‐ to three‐block radius around their neighborhoods.
The Adopt‐A‐House program seeks volunteers to watch or adopt specific vacant buildings in city neighborhoods. This Building Is Being Watched signs are posted on adopted buildings.
The Porch Light program encourages volunteers to turn on their porch lights, or any outdoor lights, between dusk and dawn. Eyes and Ears Program calls volunteers to regularly look out their windows to make sure no suspicious activity is taking place, and to call 911 if they see something out of the ordinary.
“We are asking residents and our friends from metro Detroit to join us again this year in our efforts to protect our city during this period,” said Mayor Bing. “When we work together, we experience tremendous success, as was the case during Angels’ Night last year.”
In addition, public safety officials outlined an emergency curfew that will be in effect during the period, pending City Council approval. The emergency curfew requires all minors age 17 and under be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with identification) from 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29 to 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30 to 6 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.
For more information or to volunteer, CLICK HERE or call 313-224-4415.