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Detroit officials say ShotStoppers shows big violent crime reductions in 4 of 6 neighborhoods

Lester Graham
Michigan Public

A majority of the community-based violence intervention groups Detroit has brought on to work in six of the city’s most violent neighborhoods achieved success in the past three months.

The city shared the most recent crime data on Tuesday from the six neighborhoods where the ShotStoppers program has been working. Four of the six groups working in those neighborhoods showed violent crime reductions well above the citywide average of a 20% drop–posting drops in homicides and non-fatal shootings ranging from 33% to 67%.

ShotStoppers' program administrator Michael Peterson said the program works by developing relationships with people deep in those communities, and keeping a finger on the pulse of possible conflict.

“Now they have these individuals that maybe at one point in time were contributing to the violence,” Peterson said. “Now they're really trying to do everything they can to turn their lives around, and turn their communities around.”

Peterson said the data show community-based violence intervention programs can work.

He said a bigger goal is now to secure longer-term sustainable funding for the program, which is currently 100% funded by money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“We don't want to rip away something from the community that we've invested so much into up front, especially when we're seeing the progress, we're seeing the benefits that are coming from it right now,” Peterson said.

Bills now pending in the Michigan House would create a public safety trust fund that would help fund programs like ShotStoppers.

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.
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