Mayor Duggan to launch gun violence prevention program at State of the City
Detroit Free Press – Dana Afana
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is expected to announce a new federally funded crime prevention program at his 10th State of the City address Tuesday at the Michigan Central Station.
The community-based violence intervention program, known as CVI, is aimed at preventing and reducing shootings and homicides in defined areas, ranging in a 3-mile radius, with help from local organizations known for intervening and mediating situations involving public safety. The program will be funded through the city’s $826 million in American Rescue Plan Act money.
“We’ve seen over the years the number of homicides fall but the violence is too high. When you have … the whole law enforcement community, they’ll run an operation on an area, but they can’t stay there and it doesn’t change the culture,” Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison told the Free Press. “With these community organizations, they’ll be able to stay there within that area and work on providing wraparound services, and change the culture of violence within communities.”
“These groups are oftentimes able to reach individuals of the community that police can’t reach or government can’t reach. They have a certain effect because they’re from the streets. … I know this. I retired from the Detroit Police Department … from my 27-year career, I have had to call on various Detroit organizations, nonprofits and everybody else and say, ‘We need your assistance,’ ” Bettison said.
Chief James White said the program comes at a good moment heading into summer months, which “historically have been the more violent months” related to gun crime.
“We need community involvement, we need our community to help us with this violence problem that we have. It’s really a big deal,” White said.