Detroit posted its lowest tally of criminal homicides last year in more than a half-century: 267, reports the Detroit News. That is the fewest criminal homicides since the 214 recorded in 1966. That was at a time when Detroit had a population of more than 1.5 million people, a rate of 14 homicides per 100,000 residents. The 267 homicides in 2017, compared to an estimated population of 673,000 in 2016, is a rate of about 40 per 100,000 residents. There were 305 homicides in 2016.
Mayor Mike Duggan credited 2017’s drop in homicides to the expansion of two initiatives: Project Green Light, a surveillance program at some 240 gas stations, fast-food restaurants and other businesses in the city, which provides high-quality video to investigators; and Operation Ceasefire, in which police partnered with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Wayne County prosecutors to identify gang members and others who are likely to commit crimes or be victims. Police Chief James “has started to have the necessary resources,” Duggan said. “The criminal element is starting to pause.” Project Green Light’s cameras are monitored by officers and civilians in the police department’s Real Time Crime Center in what Craig calls “virtual patrols.” The city has 232 Green Light locations, and the goal is to have 400 by the end of next year.