State - Detroit New program targets violent criminals in city

DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit police are collaborating with local, state and federal law enforcement in an effort aimed at reducing violent criminal activity in some of the city's most crime-ridden areas, officials announced Thursday.

The three-month Comprehensive Violence Reduction Partnership is focusing on concealed weapons arrests and gun trafficking. The agencies are working to link related crimes and saturate areas where numerous robberies and shootings take place.

"As we reduce violent crime in the city of Detroit we reduce all of the other kinds of crimes that affect the quality of life for people in the city of Detroit," Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans said.

The program is increasing patrols in northwest Detroit, where police say 30 percent of the city's violent crime takes place, but a mobile force also is increasing patrols in other areas as needed.

"This concept was developed using data to drive the solution to the occurrence of crime," said Lawrence Meyer, assistant chief of police. Police are using traffic stops and unannounced parolee visits to root out criminal activity, he said.

The program also encourages federal prosecution, which Meyer said can result in longer sentences.

Arrests have increased throughout northwest Detroit, Meyer said. Auto thefts and burglaries also are down in the area.

"It is anything to write home about? No," Evans said. "Is it a starting point for us to get better? Yes it is."

Resident Chris Buchanan said he's observed increased police presence in his northwest side neighborhood.

"A lot of people have been burglarized around here," Buchanan said. "Now with more officers in the area it has slowed down a lot."

Published: Tue, Jul 6, 2010

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