Forbes recently ranked Detroit at the top of its “America’s Most Dangerous Cities” ranking. The Detroit News reported that more than 379 murders occurred in Detroit as of December 30, 2012, and the city’s murder rate increased by 10% in 2012.
“The figure brings the city’s homicide rate to 53 per 100,000 residents, according to the News. That’s the second highest for a city of more than 200,000 residents after New Orleans, which had a rate of 54 per 100,000 residents.” By the Huffington Post
Most alarming is the number of deaths among children. When our babies are being killed, we are in a state of emergency. Forty years ago, the city was known as the Murder Capital of the United States. Today, Detroit has reclaimed the title.
Crime affects every aspect of Detroit’s development. When crime is high, economic development suffers, housing stock plummets, residents relocate, and education is minimized. The city of Detroit cannot rebuild itself until it can control its number one issue, crime.
Poverty, drugs, and lack of economic development are the major factors contributing to the occurrence of crime. The city of Detroit has failed to produce an economic plan to eradicate poverty for the entire city and its residents. Until this is done, we will continue to see increases in these devastating crime rates. Until Detroit becomes employable and employed, the sense of urgency for a certain quality of life will remain.
“Amongst cities of more than 200,000 residents, poverty, and murder are linked. In contrast, just one-fifth of New York City’s population is in poverty, and the murder rate there is drastically lower. New York had 414 murders as of Friday; if it had Detroit’s rate it would have 4,400.” By the Detroit News
Many years ago, one could grow up in Detroit and find a job. Now, people in Detroit fear for the lives and their family. As leaders in the community, we must sound the alarm for a proactive approach to fixing crime and implementing community policing. Change requires leadership, and people who care can help put an end to a local and national epidemic in which Detroit has once again taken the lead.
“So these kids have to get money somehow; how do they do it? They go into the drug business. But if you go into that business, you have competition. How do you get rid of your competition? Violence.” Detroit News contributor Christine MacDonald writes in an interview of Bashur, 62, retired Detroit Police Officer.
Hopefully, we get the message and the next time Forbes ranks Detroit, it’s for a better quality of life and alternative jobs for residents. Detroit leadership, where is the plan to eradicate crime and poverty?