Detroit Evening Report: Detroit touts record low in homicides, violent crime last year

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The city of Detroit says violent crime fell in 2023, with 252 murders reported last year – the lowest number since 1966. Mayor Mike Duggan held a news conference Wednesday to tout the reduction in crime.  

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“When you look at the numbers – 57 fewer homicides than in the year before — that’s not a statistic. That’s 57 human beings who are safe,” Duggan said.

The number of non-fatal shootings also fell by 16% last year, while carjackings fell 33%. The police department says there are now more than 900 Project Greenlight businesses in Detroit — a public-private-community partnership between the city and local businesses to install real-time camera connections with police headquarters in an effort to reduce crime.

“We laid out a clear strategy at the start of 2023 to drive down gun crimes in Detroit, focusing on homicides, non-fatal shootings, and carjackings,” said Detroit Police Chief James White in a statement. “When federal, state, county, city, judicial, and community partners all work together, we showed in 2023 that Detroit can become a much safer community.”

White said the results are from working with other police and community organizations during a news conference at the Detroit Public Safety building on Wednesday. He also claimed using tools like the gunshot detection program ShotSpotter was instrumental in reducing crime last year.

“As a result, we’ve made 386 arrests from those ShotSpotter notifications. There’s been a number of arrests where we’ve arrived at the scene, and the person is escaping from committing a violent act of either murdering it or its attempt,” said White.

Official 2023 numbers may change slightly as some cases conclude ongoing investigations, according to the city.

WDET reporter Nargis Rahman contributed to this story.

Other headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024: 

  • Detroit residents may have received a special looking envelope from the city within the last several days, containing an application for an absentee ballot to vote in Michigan’s Feb. 27 presidential primary.
  • The suspect accused of murdering downtown Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll will return to court for a preliminary exam on Jan. 16 to determine whether there is enough evidence for the suspect to stand trial.
  • Multiple state capitols, including Michigan’s capitol building in Lansing, received bomb threats on Wednesday that led to brief evacuations or lockdowns as police investigated, though no evidence of explosives were found.
  • Michigan Republicans plan to hold a meeting this weekend to discuss the future of chairperson Kristina Karamo, who’s been under fire from party members for failing to raise sufficient sums of money to stabilize the party’s finances. 
  • Gas prices continue to fall for metro Detroiters, with the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded down 7 cents from last week at $2.87.

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  • Jerome Vaughn
    Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.