Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has promised a more focused government that would reduce crime by adding 200 police officers, establish job centers, and restore six neighborhoods with an aggressive, five-year plan, reports the Detroit Free Press. He wants to do that and more without raising taxes; he would not say how the city, facing a $96-million deficit, would make up the money. The mayor strongly took Detroiters to task for the crime ravaging the city. He urged parents to become active in their children’s lives, pastors to engage in the neighborhoods where they preach, and residents to clean sidewalks, fix up their homes and reclaim their streets. “This is no outside conspiracy doing this to us. This is us killing us,” Kilpatrick said.
Noting that 70 percent of homicides are narcotics-related, Kilpatrick called on parents to warn their children about the dangers of the thug life. Detroit homicides rose by almost 10 percent last year. The mayor’s anticrime strategy calls for hiring 200 police officers to complement the city’s 3,100-member force. Thomas Wilson Jr., president of the Northwestern District Police Community Relations Organization, said the plan did not go far enough to beef up a department that once had more than 5,000 members. “He’s saying he’s going to put 200 officers on the street, but you have so many police officers retiring or leaving,” Wilson said.