The cities of Detroit, Sterling Heights, Lansing and Flint need to address shocking year-end news — violent crimes are up 19 percent or more, says a Detroit News editorial. Similar crimes are down overall nationally including in big cities with populations of more than a million. FBI numbers covering the first six months of this year show that other cities have found ways to combat crime, says the newspaper
A good offense attacks a broad array of problems that include, or lead to, violence. Among the problems are drug dealers, gangs, security in schools, abandoned houses used to shield criminal enterprises, and an array of other ills. The News recalls the “broken windows” theory embraced by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani proved that a big city doesn’t have to sit back, wring it hands and endure high crime rates. The Michigan economy is one of the worst in the country, but that doesn’t doesn’t get the cities off the hook for reducing crime. Another large Michigan city, Livonia, saw crime drop 10 percent. Livonia has also struggled with budget woes and staffing challenges. What techniques has Livonia developed that can be shared with other cities, the News asks? No single set of solutions will work for every city. Detroit has made a point of not reducing police patrols while cutting the budget. But such patrols are only part of the answer. The city, for example, is behind schedule in demolishing abandoned houses, the kind of blight that Giuliani fought against.