DETROIT (WWJ) – A new emphasis within the Detroit Police Department to investigate and prosecute crimes against people in the LGBT community was announced Tuesday.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Detroit Police Chief James Craig were on hand to tout the Fair Michigan Justice Project.

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“These are cases that occur — where they occur because of the victim’s orientation or identity,” said Worthy. “Right now we have 12 cases in the office; six of them are homicides and all six of them are particularly brutal homicides, that are already in the system, we have two kidnappings, two criminal sexual conducts, also known as rape, one unlawful use, and one intent to murder – where there was almost our seventh homicide.”

The project will provide an investigator and a special prosecutor to solve and prosecute crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, Craig and Worthy said. It’s considered the first of its kind in the country.

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“I think many people forget, from the comments I receive sometimes, that I represent all of the people of the state of Michigan – not just one gender, not just one identity, not one orientation, not one race, ethnicity or economic status but all the people in the state of Michigan,” Worthy said.

This was in the planning stages before the tragedy in Orlando, where 49 people were gunned down in Pulse Nightclub by a reported extremist, so it’s not the result of a national conversation about keeping the LGBT community safer. But Craig said he hopes this latest crime-fighting effort will eventually be expanded beyond Wayne County, with Detroit as a model.

“I’m excited going forward, I think we will be one of the first major cities to have this holistic push to build that bridge and certainly solve those cases that haven’t been solved,” Craig said.

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