The Detroit Police Department has endured its share of problems recently, but Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings says that serious crimes in Detroit last year hit a 41-year low, reports the Detroit Free Press. There were 73,326 such crimes — the lowest since 1963, when there were 70,248. The numbers peaked at 180,567 in 1969 — when the city had more than 500,000 residents more than it has now.
The crime figures are likely to be included in Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s State of the City address today. Despite the continued drop in overall crime, homicides — which attracted enormous attention last year — were up 5 percent from 2003. The chief acknowledged that she has reshuffled the officer corps three times in eight months and may have to make more changes. “To solve a crime, officers really have to hit the pavement within 48 hours,” she said. “We had cases in which officers were sometimes taking a week or longer to begin investigations.”