DETROIT— Mayor Mike Duggan proposed an infusion of $10 million for public safety and boosting the ranks of police officers in Detroit in an attempt to recast its reputation as one of the nation’s most violent cities.
Duggan delivered his sixth State of the City address Tuesday and stated that he plans to add 70 officers to Detroit’s police force next year.
The address was invitation-only, held at East English Village Preparatory Academy on the city’s east side.
He also unveiled a plan to enhance Detroit’s camera system, Project Green Light, telling residents “we are going to chase them down.
“We have to do more to keep our community safe,” he said. “We hit rock bottom six years ago with the highest homicide rate in America. We’ve made progress. We are not celebrating what we’ve done, but we’re going to build on it.”
The mayor delivered a budget proposal to Detroit’s City Council Thursday, including public safety investment.
Duggan announced a pilot program on Warren, Greenfield and East Seven Mile Roads. Traffic cameras will hook up to the Green Light system and, by the end of 2020, the city will have a network of 1,000 high-definition cameras to track perpetrators.
“We’re going to make people make different decisions on what they want to do,” he said.
The criminal homicide tally in Detroit dropped for the second consecutive year, with 261 deaths in 2018.
The homicide total last year, compared to Detroit’s most recent estimated population of about 673,000 as of July, is a rate of about 39 per 100,000 residents. That rate is among the highest in the United States.
Councilwoman Janeé Ayers said public safety in Detroit is critical.
“When we start to talk about how do we rebuild a city, and now that we’ve got the people wanting to come in, how do we keep it safe?” she said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Duggan said he wants residents to find success working and living in the city.
He said he hopes to add $4.5 million in workforce training efforts.
Duggan noted in the address that Detroit property values were up for the first time in 17 years.
The mayor also stated the city’s unemployment rate has been cut significantly in the last 10 years. It was about 28 percent in June 2009 and declined steadily to 5 percent last July.
“We have to talk about how we change the city,” Duggan said. “We want to be a city that’s committed to making job opportunities for everyone.”
The mayor also said the Detroit Promise program, which offers free two-and four-year degrees to city high school graduates, will expand to cover skilled trades certificates at community colleges starting in the fall.