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Cost of Crime: Working Together

May 01 2012 | no comments

Joseph Kawa owns a butcher shop on West 7 Mile in Detroit.  It’s the last meat market in the neighborhood.  Soon it may be gone– run out by crime.

Joseph explained, “My stuff is stolen, like compressors, meat coolers all that.”  Thieves have stolen three compressors.  “I said one more time, I leave out of here.  I’m closing business.”

Even worse for business, crime has forced many of his customers to leave the neighborhood.  Joseph says his business has gone down almost 30 percent.


Detroit crime statistics show that property crimes are indeed increasing.  According to Deputy Detroit Police Chief Benjamin Lee, “We have our breaking and entering, those are problematic.”

Violent crime in the city is down but fear of violence isn’t.  Deputy Chief Lee says, “There’s a tendency to believe it’s against random individuals and people who may visit the city.  That’s not the case with a lot of the violent crime we have.  It’s some type of relationship between individuals or it may be a drug deal gone bad.”

A recent WXYZ-TV/Detroit Free Press poll shows that crime is the issue that concerns Detroit residents most — with 43 percent listing it as the number one problem.

Deputy Chief Lee says citizens need to turn that fear into action, “If somebody sees a crime that’s been committed, rather than pull the shades and ignore it, it needs to be reported.  There needs to be a level of community involvement in order to solve crime.

One way to get involved is through Crime Stoppers of Michigan, where information can be turned in anonymously.  Crime Stoppers president John Broad reports, “Last year we had a 44 percent increase in tips — from a little over 4000 tips to just under 6000 tips.  Broad thinks people have finally had enough, “Things sometimes have to get so bad that people, even if they are not quite sure if its anonymous, are willing to take that risk to be able to do something about crime.”

Warren mayor Jim Fouts says things are improving in his city, “I’m very excited to say that crime is down by 11 percent.”

Heroin is still a problem in Warren.  Three men have died from heroin overdoses so far this year.

Unlike may cities, Warren has been able to beef up its police department.  Last fall, 22 new police officers were hired.  So Warren had enough officers to wage a neighborhood war on heroin that has lead to 30 arrests.

The people who work with crime everyday say we can all do something about it.  If we unify and act, crime will go down.

Mayor Fouts found, “If you keep the neighborhoods cleaned up, if you take care of the homes, if you don’t have abandoned homes, foreclosed homes, if you make sure they stay cleaned up, then there’s no place for crime to go.”

Crime Stoppers’ John Broad says, “The only way we’re going to become really safe, we as the community have to take back our streets.”


Would you like to know about what types of crimes are happening where you live?

We have links to several websites below so you can find your community on a map.

Click here to go to

Click here to go to

Click here to go to

Click here to go to the Michigan Allies Project website for recent hate incidents around Michigan.

Click here for information on establishing a Neighborhood Watch program in your community


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