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As Detroit breaks down, scourge of arson burns out of control

As Detroit breaks down, scourge of arson burns out of control

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-detroit-arson-idUSBRE96C06E20130713

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Understaffed Detroit Police Say Enter the City at Your Own Risk Abandon all hope ye who enter here. Here being Detroit. “Detroit is America’s most violent city, its homicide rate is the highest in the country, and yet the Detroit Police Department is grossly understaffed,” said DPOA attorney Donato Iorio. “The DPOA believes that there is a war in Detroit, but there should be a war on crime, not a war on its officers.” Over the summer, city officials reduced the police department’s budget by nearly $75 million in an attempt to attack the city’s large deficit.

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.

Fixing Detroit’s 
Broken School System: Improve accountability 
and oversight for district and charter schools Detroit is a classic story of a once-thriving city that has lost its employment base, its upper and middle classes, and much of its hope for the future. The city has been on a long, slow decline for decades. It’s difficult to convey the postapocalyptic nature of Detroit. Miles upon miles of abandoned houses are in piles of rot and ashes. Unemployment, violent crime, and decades of underinvestment have led to a near-complete breakdown of civic infrastructure: the roads are terrible, the police are understaffed, and there is a deeply insufficient social safety net.

Big Three Automakers Outsourcing To Mexico The Big Three automakers in the U.S. – Ford, Chrysler and GM – are under fire for outsourcing to Mexico. GM and Chrysler have been given billions in aid from the U.S. government to keep them operational during the downturn in the economy. Now, Washington is criticizing the automakers for offshoring manufacturing jobs as a sign of taking undue benefit of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Detroit pays high price for arson onslaught Detroit — Arson is a raging epidemic in Detroit, destroying neighborhoods and lives as the city tries to emerge from bankruptcy. Even amid a historic demolition blitz, buildings burn faster than Detroit can raze them. Last year, the city had 3,839 suspicious fires and demolished 3,500 buildings, according to city records analyzed by The Detroit News. Outsourcing Jobs to ... Detroit? Now, one tech company is declaring the latest trend, “Outsourcing to Detroit.” Outsourcing generally refers to hiring an outside firm that’s cheaper, generally in countries like India or China, but Detroit was hit so hard by the auto industry crisis of the past two years, both in terms of jobs and real estate prices, that for American companies it’s starting to look like a viable competitor to developing nations. Following moves by Quicken Loans and Blue Cross Blue Shield to relocate workers from the suburbs to downtown Detroit, IT-services provider GalaxE, based in Somserset, NJ, decided to set up shop there too. Outsourcing from New Jersey to Detroit may seem like a punchline, but, in fact, it makes a lot of sense: The costs are just a little bit higher than they would be to set up shop in a place like Brazil, GalaxE CEO Tim Bryan said, but with added benefits.

Detroit and Deindustrialization This article is from Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics, available at This article is from the September/October 2013 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine. Questions and Answers with Barry Bluestone By Barry Bluestone | September/October 2013 Crumbling, Destitute Schools Threaten Detroit’s Recovery Residents wonder how the city can ever recoup its lost population and attract young families if the public schools are in abysmal shape. “As we begin to rebuild this city and we’re seeing money and development moving in, people are understanding that there is no way we can improve Detroit without a strong educational system,” said Mary Sheffield, a native of Detroit and a City Council member. “We have businesses and restaurants and arenas, but our schools are falling apart and our children are uneducated.

Detroit Manufacturing Rekindled By Newer Companies Betting On City Despite Bankruptcy DETROIT, Aug 2 (Reuters) - For nearly six decades Detroit’s story has been one of relentless erosion of its once mighty manufacturing base, but even as the Motor City faces a long bankruptcy a clutch of small producers has moved in to rekindle the “Made in Detroit” brand. Making products ranging from bicycles to luxury watches and “sleeping bag” coats designed for the homeless, these small firms have tapped into a surprising amount of demand for goods made in a city more commonly associated today with failure and decline. “Our customers come from all walks of life and are looking for a little bit of soul and something that is authentically Detroit,” said Eric Yelsma, founder of Detroit Denim Co., which produces hand-made jeans. “We can’t make them fast enough.”

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