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New police program in Detroit proves effective


Residents in Detroit's  Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood, on the city's northwest side, have been chatting up police officers more frequently for the past year.

In effort to cut down on crime, Detroit Police partnered with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to create a new way to protect the neighborhoods in the area.

As part of a pilot program that began in the Grandmont - Rosedale area one year ago, Detroit Police Department looked to better connect officers and residents. 

Since the program began in June 2012, home invasions dropped 26 percent.

"But I'd say as important is the model it created for how a community and police force can credibly and quickly, without additional financial resources, work together," said Michael Allegretti, director at the Manhattan Institute.

The program did not increase the number of patrols in the area. Rather, it encouraged officers to increase "felt presence" by speaking with the residents on a daily basis, and used the community as the "eyes and ears to report suspicious and criminal activity."

The program also worked with the Michigan Department of Corrections to increase home visits to people on probation and parole living in the area. Those visits resulted in arrests of people with violations.

"The resiliency of the residents in the city of Detroit continues to inspire me," Allegretti said. "The city can turn a corner on crime. Because you have a credible community who say 'This is our town, and we're not letting it go.' That gives me great hope."

-Alana Holland, Michigan Radio Newsroom