Detroit Chief Hails Crime Decrease, Assails City’s “Culture Of Violence”


James Craig knew he was taking over a troubled organization when he was sworn in as Detroit's 41st police chief a year ago. He is confident the police department is in better shape than it was last year, reports the Detroit News. “When I came in the door, there were three main priorities: Increase officer morale, reduce crime, and restore the credibility of the Police Department,” he said. “I would say all three have been addressed. But I'm not saying the work is over.”

Through the end of June, violent crime is down in most categories from the same period a year ago, with a 37 percent drop in robberies, a 28 percent decline in carjackings, a 12 percent decrease in homicides and a 14 percent drop in nonfatal shootings. Craig attributed that in part to more people giving police information, and holding his commanders more accountable. One of the biggest surprises for him in, Craig said, was what he called a “culture of violence.” “The people of Detroit have become somewhat desensitized to crime,” he said. “For instance, I was shocked to find that carjacking was not an anomaly. It was almost like it's kind of normal. This is a crime that occurs frequently. I'm not suggesting people accepted it, but when a carjacking occurred, people didn't become outraged over it.”

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