Opinion: Liberal Detroit Rediscovers Enforcing the Law

A prominent liberal city seems to have wised up about what it takes to reduce crime — not following liberal policies.

Detroit has cut back its murder rate to a six-year low. By the end of November, the city had 228 homicides, 18% less than during the same period last year. If the trend continues, it will finish the year with a number that hasn’t reached that low since 1966.

“In 2018, Detroit recorded 261 homicides, the city’s fewest since 1966, a year before the Detroit riot in 1967,” reported the Detroit Free Press.

It is excellent news that the media should be proclaiming. Mayors from Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago should be on the phone with Mike Duggan to ask for his secret.

So, what is Detroit’s secret?

According to the Detroit Free Press, officials for the city targeted the following areas: 

•        Increase coordination between police and the county prosecutor on homicide and shooting cases.

•        Reduce backlogs of felony gun cases in the courts.

•        Increase accountability for defendants released to the sheriff’s office.

•        Increase accountability from the Michigan Department of Corrections for individuals on parole and probation.

•        Implement the FAST unit, a joint fugitive apprehension unit between the County Sheriff’s Office and the Detroit Police Department.

•        Increase staffing for the sheriff’s office, police department, and prosecutor’s office.

Tada! A plan that works to reduce crime. The FAST unit alone has apprehended almost 1,000 people this year who had felony outstanding warrants. The felony gun case backlog went from nearly 4,000 in January 2022 to 1,330 in November, a reduction of 67% reduction from 2022, according to the report.

Then why aren’t other cities following in the footsteps of Detroit?

Because the steps go against far-left ideology — they arrest, then prosecute and imprison criminals. They provide funding for law enforcement so there are enough people to do the jobs — plus they are effective.

“The commitment and dedication of all stakeholders involved in these efforts have resulted in positive and significant progress,” said William McConico, 36th District Court Chief Judge, to the Free Press. “Our community has and will continue to benefit from the work that has been done, and I am eager to see how we build upon these impressive outcomes.”

This is what happens when cities are committed to an outcome and establish policies that work and yield results.

Although Detroit can be proud of this, officials realize there is still significant work to be done. The citywide reduction is impressive; however, efforts also revealed that some precincts struggle with crime. The 2nd, 4th, and 5th precincts are still seeing increases in crime.

The beauty of having a working plan is that authorities can shift some resources from places where crime is mostly under control and focus more on the three troublesome precincts with even more significant resources. 

It is incredible how law enforcement can be effective if you actually enforce the laws on the books.

If only other cities would pay careful attention to what’s working in the Motor City and try the same approaches in their towns.