In order to revitalize a city, members of the community need to feel safe and secure. The safety of our team members and customers is of utmost importance to us, so as we prepare to open for business, we are evaluating the safety and security of both our building and the surrounding community.
In my recent trip to Detroit, I learned about a targeted crime fighting initiative called Midtown CompStat. It was developed by the Wayne State University Police Department and the Center for Urban Studies to help combat crime in the Midtown area. The task force is comprised of representatives from Wayne State police, Henry Ford Health System’s police authority, Detroit Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, AmeriCorps, Detroit Medical Center, corrections, local libraries, private companies and other institutions. This group meets regularly to map crimes that occur and develop strategies to combat them. I was impressed when I learned that they are also utilizing advanced technology, such as video surveillance and real time crime-mapping tools, in the Midtown area.
In a podcast recording from May 31, Wayne State Associate Vice President and Chief of Police, Anthony Holt, was asked why this committee was formed. He responded “Research studies showed that by doing a focus targeted type of police intervention we could show significant gains in crime prevention and crime hot-spots ”
When asked, what led to the development of this program, Tony responded: “The three major institutions in midtown– Henry Ford Health Systems, Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State–decided to work on development of Midtown and the target was to to increase the population in Midtown by 15,000 by the year 2015. To increase the population, they want young urban professionals that are going to live and grow in the area. “
A major obstacle in reaching this goal is crime and the perceptions of crime, which is the primary reason this committee was formed. Since Midtown CompStat was initiated in 2009, they have made a significant impact. According to their report, between 2008-2011 major crimes have been reduced by 38% in Midtown. Major crimes include: larceny, burglary, robbery and auto theft. The most persistent “hot spots” have been cooled off significantly, driving down Midtown’s crime rate. While crime is still a real issue in the city, the formation of this committee and the reduction in crimes is an encouraging step forward for Detroit safety.
Have you visited the Midtown area? What do you think about the safety of this area?