Detroit has become almost a killing field with countless murders taking place every week in a city where some have touted the return of economic growth and all things that resemble the comeback of an American city. But the reality is that despite the booming sense of optimism in Detroit’s overall development, the failure to handle crime dismisses every form of optimism we have about the city.
This week Mayor Dave Bing released crime statistics that did not show any improvement in our public safety. While it is important to release new numbers to give residents and those invested in this city an idea of the level of crime we are dealing with, people want a plan of action to reign in on crime in the city. The city needs to show a realistic and winnable program to attack crime in the city.
The city’s leadership has been talking about culture change as an overall strategy to fight time. True, attitudinal change is needed but preaching that kind of sermon from the highest levels of leadership is not going to solve crime or deter hardened criminals bent on making life unbearable for people.
We need leadership that would look into the cameras and assure residents and businesses and cab drivers that those responsible for murders or planning on mayhem in the city will face the law. That’s what we need not a thesis on cultural or attitudinal change at a time when people are on the edge afraid to drive alone or even stop at a gas station for fear of becoming the next victim to be reported on the evening news.
Time for our leadership to demonstrate a strong sense of urgency in this public safety nightmare.
It’s been reported that Mayor Bing is looking at revamping the whole Detroit Police Department in a bid to attack crime. It will take more than that. We can hope that the city demonstrates in the next few weeks that it has a handle on crime as it faces this nightmare.
Bankole Thompson author of “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” is a distinguished journalist and presidential author. Since 2008 he has been a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening program on New York’s WLIB-1190AM. You can tune in every Sunday to hear his take on the Obama administration from 9-10:30pm and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut. You can listen to him every Thursday morning on WDET-101.9FM (Detroit NPR Affiliate) where he is a political analyst. Thompson is the editor of the Michigan Chronicle and author of the forthcoming book “Rising from the Ashes: Engaging Detroit’s Future with Courage.” No part of this blog must be republished without the appropriate designation or expressed permisison of the author http://www.bankolethompson.com