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One Detroit partnership will renew effort to fight, prevent violent crime

Detroit skyline

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit is leading a new collaborative effort to curb gun violence in the city.

The One Detroit partnership is a refresh of a decade-long cooperative effort between different levels of government, faith leaders, and community groups.

The new partnership has an increased emphasis on violence prevention and intervention. It will also focus on the needs of formerly-incarcerated people.

Specific details of the new strategies are still scarce. But Detroit U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said they’re approaching anti-violence work with a deeper recognition of the collateral damage aggressive law enforcement can cause.

“We are just not focusing on enforcement, but that we are also focusing on the partnership and the pillars of reentry and prevention and intervention,” Ison said. “That's the difference.”

But aggressive enforcement for what officials call the most violent instigators is still part of the plan. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that’s especially true when it comes to illegal guns.

“We're trying to change the decision-making,” Duggan said. “We're trying to say nobody up here wants to arrest and prosecute anybody, but we need people to leave the illegal weapons at home.”

Officials said they’ll use other, evidence-based methods for getting to the root of violent crime. They said those methods have shown positive results in some smaller Michigan cities, like Jackson and Saginaw.

They also plan to track resulting crime data in cooperation with Michigan State University, as well as community trust in the programs.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.