How would Bill Bratton fight crime in Detroit?

How would Bill Bratton fight crime in Detroit?

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By Charlie LeDuff
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- We have had a full day to digest the Detroit Police Department 2012 Crime Statistical Information analysis about homicide in the city last year.

In 78 percent of the murder cases, the victim was a black male.  What did our crack staff in the department conclude?  The majority of victims are black males.  Seriously it says that in the report.

In 37.3 percent of all homicides in Detroit last year, it began with an argument.  And in 100 percent of those cases the murderer won the argument.  That is my conclusion, not theirs.

In 88 percent of all murders in Detroit in 2012, it happened in the neighborhood.  And as the mayor said on Wednesday, Detroit is a great place if you stay out of the neighborhood.

"The vast majority of the homicides are in residential areas, people who actually live here.  So when we scare people about visiting in the city, I think that's the wrong approach," Bing said.

Now this is no way to use computers to fight crime.  So we caught up with Bill Bratton, who is in town to help Detroit learn how to do it.  And they should listen because Bratton is the guy who turned around New York and Los Angeles -- two huge cities which both had less murders than Detroit last year.

"Take advantage of whatever technology is available -- computer systems, etcetera.  Apply that to the crime problems.  So the crime mapping is very, very important," said Bratton.

"Trying to use that system to help identify emerging patterns and trends so that the officers are able to get in there after the second or third incident before they become ten or 20."

Now not only did the mayor release this comic book of crime analysis on Wednesday, he has come up with the money to launch a search for a new permanent chief of police who extensively will come in and re-reorganize the police department.

"We have since reallocated some funds probably about four weeks ago, four or five weeks ago, so that there is money now to do the search.  But it now rests in the hands of the Police Commission," said Bing.

There is only one little problem with that.  The chairman of the Police Commission says the mayor did not send over any money.

"We haven't seen anything.  No communication.  We haven't seen anything as it relates to the money for the chief," said Jerome Warfield.  "It's still in process.  It's still in the mail."

I got an idea.  Why don't we hire Bratton?

"What if Detroit offered you $1 million to be its top cop.  Would you take it?" I asked him.

"No," he answered.  "I'm not willing to pack up and move here.  I can come in for three or four days every couple weeks and still maintain my home in New York."

Not even for a million dollars.  And that is too bad because what Detroit needs most of all is a leader to get us out of this revolving door of ineptitude.

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