The U.S. Justice Department is partnering with Detroit and Wayne County to fight violent crime in the city.
Officials say the plan involves what they call “focused” law enforcement, similar to what the city and federal government did while targeting high crime areas last summer.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan proposed a $10 million anti-crime initiative during his 10th State of the City address last month. Duggan says this latest effort involves community leaders trying to help prevent violence before it occurs.
“We have more individuals carrying illegal weapons, more young people in this country than we’ve ever seen,” Duggan said in a statement. “The point at which somebody sticks an illegal weapon under their belt and heads out of the house, we’ve lost.”
The plan also includes outreach by Detroit community leaders offering education and other services, and attempting to prevent arguments from escalating into violent acts.
“We’re seeing beefs turn into shootings over and over. We’re gonna engage in all kinds of prevention efforts,” Duggan promised. “But for those who do choose to do it, law enforcement is aligned together.”
The announcement comes after an especially violent weekend in Detroit’s downtown area where two people were shot dead, including a Greektown security guard.
A Detroit City Council member wants attorneys to study whether it would be legal to create designated “gun free” zones in the downtown area, though it remains unclear how that could be enforced.