The Cost of Crime – Detroit Crime Commission
In fact, the number of crimes in all categories except Robbery is higher this year compared to the same time last year.
To help combat crime a new civilian organization is forming here to partner with law enforcement.
Former Michigan state police inspector Ellis Stafford is operations director for the Detroit Crime Commission. He says, “A safer Detroit is a better Detroit is a growing Detroit.”
The non-profit organization is staffed with former federal, state and local law enforcement professionals.
Ron Reddy, a 28 year veteran of the FBI was the first member of the team. He told us, “Our official mission is to act as a facilitator between the citizens of metro Detroit, the business community and law enforcement community to help facilitate and address public safety issues and concerns.”
Crime commissions themselves aren’t new.
New York City has one. Also Chicago. And Tulsa. San Diego, too. Some have been around for a hundred years.
In Detroit the new commission hopes to lessen the burden on local law enforcement in a time of reduced manpower and budget challenges.
Stafford says, “I would like for the public to see the crime commission as basically another tool on law enforcement’s tool belt. Batman had his utility belt. We want to be another tool on the law enforcement communities, their utility belt.”
Stafford and Reddy say the crime commission is undertaking several initiatives to help local police agencies.
Nuisance Abatement – in other words – fighting blight.
Law Enforcement Training.
Landlord Tenant Program.
They’ll be rolling out a program to help landlords of multiple unit apartments recognize and address problems before crimes occur.
And they offer Analytical Support to help fill the gap for stretched agencies.
According to Reddy “We can play a role in leveraging the limited resources that are available to go after some of these problems.”
Stafford adds “I think that’s where we shine, is our research and analytical capability. A number of criminal enterprises may go undetected because law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to actually sit down and do the analytical pieces to put that crime together.”
Stafford spent 23 years in the state police. He still has a desire to serve the community– but he’s happy doing it now as a civilian. “We’re not cops, we’re not going on the streets. That stuff is dangerous. Been there, done that. So we want to stay in here where it’s nice and safe.”
In July Andrew Arena will move over from the FBI where he heads the Detroit field office as special agent in charge to become Executive Director of the Detroit Crime Commission.
“We have been received very graciously, i’ve got no complaints,” Reddy told us. “People have bent over backwards to offer their insights to help us get established, to show us areas where we might be able to help.”