Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Bankole Thompson is editor of the Michigan Chronicle and author of “Obama and Black Loyalty,” published in 2010, and his recent book, “Obama and Christian Loyalty” with an epilogue by Bob Weiner, former White House spokesman. Thompson is a political news analyst at WDET-101.9FM (NPR affiliate) and a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening roundtable on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost everyday someone is getting killed in the city. Whether it's early in the morning or in broad daylight.
At the end of the day the question is whether Detroit has a handle on the escalating crime we are witnessing in Motown?
The city's premier law enforcement apparatus - the Detroit Police Department- tells us they are doing the best they can. Residents and others outside the law enforcement business see things differently. Because often when you call police for intervention during a crime situation it's unlikely they will show up.
Because of the dwindling of resources and the fact that the men and women in blue are stretched out since we don't have enough of them in the streets.
A city that brags about been a 21st century metropolis cannot do so if it doesn't have a handle on crime. Let's be realistic about the fact that we can't keep talking about moving Detroit forward if crime continues to dominate the headlines of the evening news.
A conference to tackle crime organized by Wayne State University was held last week. Key at the conference was how the community and the police should work together. The panel of speakers spoke about the growing need for law enforcement and the community to come together and fight crime. Point taken.
But in order to that you need leaders who understand how that works and who will convey that sense of urgency in the community.
You can't build community relations behind the mahogany desk of your office. That means you have to get out there and show a demonstrable commitment to community relations.
Already some of this is being done. But in a time of crisis the message has to be clear: we need all hands on deck.
Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt has done an excellent job of making Midtown a safe hub for everyone who lives and does business in the growing business district.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee's job should be given more priority at city hall. We can't be talking about a safe Detroit when people are being murdered daily. And the answer from city hall is: more cuts in public safety.
You can't cut your way out of crime. Put resources in the police department and in the community and make it work. You don't need a residence police scholar from Oxford or Harvard Universities to figure that out for Detroit. It's called common sense community policing.
To see more footage and find out about upcoming shows, visit Bankole Thompson's Facebook.
Convicted Detroit businessman Rayford Jackson, who is headed to federal prison, is speaking out for the first time since his sentencing.
Jackson, in an exclusive interview on "Center Stage with Bankole Thompson," the weekly Saturday public affairs show on WADL TV 38, will respond to questions about his criminal conviction and if he will cooperate with the federal government to root out corruption in Detroit. Jackson will also respond to recent statements by his ex-mistress and former Fox 2 anchorwoman Fanchon Stinger that he abused, threatened and manipulated her.
The interview, which will air Dec 5 at 1 p.m., is conducted by Thompson, senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle.
Jackson, a central figure in a $1.2 billion bribery scandal involving the Synagro sludge hauling company, was sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison, the maximum sentence possible. He is to report to prison in January.
Jackson, 44, had pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
According to reports, Stinger, who had been in a relationship with Jackson since 2005, lost her job at Fox 2 News because of that relationship. She maintains she allowed Jackson to put a Rolls Royce and other luxury cars in her name because she feared him and because Jackson had poor credit.
Stinger, who has said she was in an abusive relationship with Jackson, maintains that her company, Stinger Strategies, LLC, never had a 2007 contract with Synagro to buy media ads supporting the company's bid for a contract with the city, and that federal prosecutors have cleared her of wrongdoing in her dealings with Jackson.
Reports indicate that it is possible a deal between her company and Synagro could have been made without her knowledge.
Stinger also said that when she accompanied Jackson to a meeting in the community, designed to win public support, she was just there as his driver.
Jackson's attorney, Richard Morgan Jr., said Jackson did not abuse Stinger, either mentally or physically, according to reports.
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