Chief Craig on Detroit's promising future after crime decreases - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Chief Craig on Detroit's promising future after crime decreases in 2013

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(WJBK) -

Overall crime decreased for the city of Detroit in 2013 and Chief James Craig says that trend will continue in 2014.

"The days of just driving through this city, doing what you want, engaging in violent crime, is over," Chief Craig says. He's behind the high-profile raids, the dramatic cut in response time and a push for police transparency. Chief Craig says it's all part of his plan to make Detroit a safe city - and it's already working.

"The data ... tells a story - 52 fewer homicides, we're talking a 14 percent reduction. That's a powerful statement in and of itself," he says.

And that's not all.

Nonfatal shootings are down by more than one hundred from last year. Those numbers speak volumes in a city where violence has become the "norm" and many of its residents have learned to live with it.

"The thing that struck me odd was, I didn't hear a cry for help, that the level of violence in this city was almost tolerated," Chief Craig says.

That, however, is changing and 2014 could bring high-tech tools to help curb crime.

He explains: "We want to launch a real-time crime center in this very building. We're looking at a new computer-aided dispatch; I want to make sure we're giving our officers the tools that they need to get their jobs done."

Chief Craig credits them for curbing crime. The men and women who lay it all on the line everyday, knowing their financial futures are in jeopardy because of Detroit's bankruptcy.

"This city will become one of the nation's most safest, given the dynamics, and yet we're in bankruptcy. Yet we have other challenges but we're still getting it done," he says.  

Chief Craig gives another example of officers' tireless work to cut down on crime: Seven guns were recovered in the last couple of days. Three of those guns were from different areas along Seven Mile Road and four were from two area concerts on Saturday.

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