Detroit opens police mini-stations

Dec. 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM
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DETROIT, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has announced the opening of police mini-stations in an effort to bring down the city's staggering homicide rate.

The announcement came hours after four bodies were found in a house on the city's east side, The Detroit News reported. Three men and a woman had been shot.

Bing said Wednesday that six mini-stations had opened that day and another seven are planned in the next three months.

"The mini-stations will make our communities safer and improve police-community relations," Bing told residents at the Butzel Family Center. "There's just too much crime in our city."

Detroit has long had a high crime rate. Recently, Flint, Mich., another decaying center of the auto industry, has had the highest homicide rate among cities with populations of more than 100,000 with Detroit in second place.

With 362 homicides as of Wednesday, Detroit's rate is one for every 1,970 residents. The total is close to that of New York, which has a much larger population and a homicide rate of one per 22,500 residents.

In October, a Detroit News poll found that crime tops the list of concerns in the city and that 40 percent of Detroiters hope to move elsewhere within five years.

"There are problems all over this city," Charles Rattee, who lives on the east side, told the News. "The bad economy is partly to blame for all the crime, but I also think it's the people in charge. There's a lot of mishandling, and a bunch of ignorant smart people running things."

Police, like other city employees, have seen their pay cut 10 percent as Detroit struggles to balance its budget. The police chief recently quit amid a scandal, and city officials refused to approve a contract with an outside firm to search for a new chief because of the cost.

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