Detroit's Staggering Murder And Violent Crime Rate Are 'A Public Health Issue' Following news that Detroit was exiting bankruptcy and officials talking with optimism about the road ahead, grim new statistics drive home how much there is to do before the city’s future truly appears bright.
Detroit has the highest murder and violent crime rate of any major city in the country, according to the FBI. FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics released Monday show that Detroit logged 316 murders and non-negligent manslaughters last year, with a rate of 45 per 100,000 people. That’s the highest of U.S. cities with more than 200,000 residents and 10 times the national rate. The city also had 14,500 total violent crimes in 2013. The report defines murder and non-negligent manslaughter as the “willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.”
Forbes Welcome. Can Detroit Make A Comeback Like The Big Three? By Tom Krisher, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) – Four years ago, America’s Big Three automakers mortgaged all they owned or went into bankruptcy court to keep from going broke.
Since then, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford have all returned to full financial health, unlike Detroit itself, which filed for bankruptcy Thursday after years of painful decline. So why can’t the Motor City use bankruptcy to transform itself in the same way? Detroit police response times down, but official numbers questioned. When state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr first pleaded with a federal bankruptcy court to help Detroit in July 2013, he made his case with sobering statistics: the city's high levels of poverty, blight and abandonment, its declining population and tax revenues, and its insane crime rate.
Orr pointed out how long it took police, on average, to get to the highest-priority crimes: Fifty-eight minutes, or nearly an hour. It was partial proof the city couldn't "meet obligations to its citizens," Orr told the court. It was a shocking number – and one repeated by Gov. Rick Snyder, the man who appointed Orr. Fewest cops are patrolling Detroit streets since 1920s. Detroit — There are fewer police officers patrolling the city than at any time since the 1920s, a manpower shortage that sometimes leaves precincts with only one squad car, posing what some say is a danger to cops and residents.
Detroit has lost nearly half its patrol officers since 2000; ranks have shrunk by 37 percent in the past three years, as officers retired or bolted for other police departments amid the city's bankruptcy and cuts to pay and benefits. Left behind are 1,590 officers — the lowest since Detroit beefed up its police force to battle Prohibition bootleggers. "This is a crisis, and the dam is going to break," said Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association.
"It's a Catch-22: I know the city is broke, but we're not going to be able to build up a tax base of residents and businesses until we can provide a safe environment for them. " Police Chief James Craig acknowledges he doesn't have as many officers as he'd like. Detroit Jobs Might Return, But Workers Still Lack Skills. DETROIT, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has a long list of things to fix in the city and among them is one that may sound surprising: there are not enough skilled workers to fill job openings as they become available.
“Every problem in this city revolves around jobs,” said Lindsay Chalmers, vice president of non-profit Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “That’s at the heart of the issue for Detroit.” The decline of manufacturing jobs, above all in the automotive industry, has played a major role in the slide of the Motor City’s population to 700,000 from a peak of 1.8 million in the 1950s. Despite recent gains, Michigan has 350,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than in 2000.
Seismic shifts in the local labor market have left many unskilled workers behind. Detroit firefighters speak out on bankruptcy. By Tim Rivers and Jerry White 29 July 2013.
Threatened Cuts From Mayor: Police, Fire & People Mover. Get Breaking News First Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up. As Detroit breaks down, scourge of arson burns out of control. Pionline. Trustees of the $3.4 billion Detroit Police & Fire Retirement System on Thursday morning approved the economic terms of a settlement that will eliminate the pension cuts included in the city's revised bankruptcy recovery plan, filed April 1 in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Detroit. Police and fire department employees and retirees also will receive a 1% annual cost-of-living adjustment, down from 2.25% previously. The amount of the COLA might be increased based on good performance of the pension fund, said Bruce Babiarz, a spokesman for the pension fund, in an interview. The pension fund's 12,000 current and retired fire and police employees along with other creditors must approve the city's final bankruptcy plan of adjustment in balloting that begins May 1. Under the current revised recovery plan, public safety employees and retirees had faced a 6% pension cut if they approve the city's bankruptcy recovery plan or 14% if the plan is rejected.
Detroit's population from 1840 to 2012 shows high points, decades of decline. Detroit’s top fire official, Don Austin, is resigning in wake of botched fire crisis. Detroit Fire Commissioner Don Austin, who botched the hiring of new firefighters, regularly conceals the severity of the fire crisis and oversaw drastic budget reductions, is resigning at the end of the year, city officials said today.
Residents began calling for Austin’s resignation this summer, saying he’s responsible for an increase in the number of fires that are decimating neighborhoods, jacking up home insurance rates and claiming lives. Since Austin took the helm in May 2011, firefighters’ wages were cut 10%, arsons were drastically underreported and seven fire stations were permanently closed as part of a $24-million reduction in the department’s budget. Most of those stations have since been broken into and stripped over scrap metal. Austin’s resignation wasn’t optional, city sources told us. Fire trucks continue to break down at unprecedented rates, and repairs are woefully slow. The city averages 30 fires a day, about half of which are suspected arsons. Steve Neavling. Mayor shows off new Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.
The offices are still bare, aside from furniture, but the ribbon has been cut on the new Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.
Mayor Dave Bing and other officials, including outgoing Police Chief Chester Logan and Fire Commissioner Donald Austin, said the seven-story building that will house the headquarters of the Detroit Police, Fire and EMS departments will improve efficiency, save as much as $3 million per year and boost the morale of the city’s first responders. “This is a beacon for what can happen in our city,” Bing said today during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, noting that the “headquarters has been coming for a long, long time.” Detroit Fire Trucks Dribble Water as Orr Weighs Costs of Safety. Crews at Detroit’s Engine 54 station chase fires on trucks with broken gas gauges, faulty air brakes and, in one, an odometer that reads 183,000 miles. Budget cuts mean the company, bedeviled by false alarms and arsons of vacant buildings, must cover almost 50 square miles (130 kilometers) on the west side, said Sergeant Shawn Atkins.
As he spoke, water splashed on the concrete floor from a truck’s leaking 500-gallon tank. “We want better rigs and better equipment so we can respond and keep ourselves safe,” Atkins said when asked what he’d tell Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr. JPMorgan Chase to invest $100M in Detroit. DETROIT -- Detroit's revitalization hopes are getting a boost from one of the deepest-pocketed players in U.S. finance. JPMorgan Chase, the nation's biggest bank, will announce Wednesday that it is investing $100 million in Detroit over five years, strengthening the city's redevelopment efforts, speeding up blight removal, helping train city residents for new jobs, and making mortgage money available for home loans. About half the cash will come in the form of loans and the rest in grants. Chase has been working for several months developing the program, which will be announced Wednesday at a luncheon featuring Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan and JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon.
A 911 response in Detroit takes how long?- MSN Money. For some people in Detroit, calling 911 isn't an option anymore. That's because it takes too long for any help to arrive. People have developed their own emergency response plans that often involve calling relatives or friends, The New York Times reports. How bad is it? Guardians of a broken city: Detroit's police struggle to make ends meet with pay cuts, dwindling numbers and rundown equipment in a town where even criminals pity cops.
By Associated Press Reporter Published: 20:57 GMT, 22 February 2014 | Updated: 23:48 GMT, 22 February 2014 It has come to this: Even some criminals sympathize with Detroit's cops. Baron Coleman thought he'd heard it all in his 17 years patrolling the streets. But then came the city's bankruptcy, a 10 per cent cut in police salaries, followed by support from a most unlikely corner - the bad guys. ‘When they saw us take a pay cut they were in shock. Threatened Cuts From Mayor: Police, Fire & People Mover. Pay cuts coming to Detroit police, fire officers - Aug. 2, 2013.
A City’s Wrenching Budget Choices. The growth helped pay for glittering capital projects all over town — a convention center on the Cape Fear River, a police headquarters with its own crime lab, a 20-mile bike and jogging trail, tennis courts and softball fields, a host of road and streetscape improvements. The mayor’s calendar was crowded with ribbon-cuttings. But by the time Mr. Saffo and the Council took on this year’s $85 million budget, the collapse of the real estate market had so choked revenues that the finance department could no longer afford free coffee for its staff. Benefits for council staff included in Detroit budget. Forbes Welcome. Forbes Welcome. Detroit Is Eligible For Bankruptcy, And City Pensions Are At Risk. Who pays the bill? DETROIT may be an extreme case of fiscal incontinence. But its bankruptcy highlights a long-term problem faced by many American cities and states; how to fund generous pension and health-care promises that are no longer affordable.
The problem has been decades in the making. It has always been easier for politicians to promise generous retirement benefits to public servants than to raise their wages. The bill for jam today falls due immediately; the bill for jam tomorrow can be delayed for decades. The same mindset once caused Detroit’s big three carmakers to strike deals with workers whereby they could retire as young as 48 with gold-plated pension and health-care packages. Explicit cookie consent. Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs. The Chicago plan, announced in May, would phase some of the city’s 11,800 retirees and their family members not eligible for Medicare out of city coverage by 2017. While some may seek insurance through new employers or through their spouses’ workplaces, others will probably be shifted to the insurance exchanges. Much of the plan for the next few years is in flux, but the changes are expected to contribute to a larger effort to save Chicago $155 million to $175 million a year in retiree health care costs by 2017.
“With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, our retirees will have more options to meet their health care needs,” said Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, adding that most of the city’s retirees over 65 were already covered by Medicare.