After two years of declining homicide numbers, Detroit had 302 homicides in 2016, up seven from the previous year, reports the Detroit News. Other crimes, such as carjackings, robberies and nonfatal shootings, declined. Police Chief James Craig noted that for cities that have seen dramatic crime reductions, such as Los Angeles and New York, it didn’t happen in a couple of years. “Not waving a flag of success, but progress certainly …” Craig said yesterday. “What we’re seeing here, we are on the right track. I’m absolutely confident.”
The city’s population is 677,116, breaking the 302 homicides down to 44.6 per 100,000 residents, giving Detroit still one of the highest murder rates in the nation. In 1987, the city reached a 30-year high for homicides at 686, a rate of 63 homicides per 100,000 residents with the population then above 1 million. Of last year’s 302 homicides, Craig said, 114 were a result of arguments, some involving individuals who previously were incarcerated. “We believe if we can work with the (Michigan Department of Corrections) to help individuals who are returning citizens to make better choices, we believe we can shrink that number,” Craig said. The crime stats were released amid at least four fatal shootings within the first four days of 2017.