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Detroit Police Chief says killings are up

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee says overall crime is down in the city. But he acknowledges that’s overshadowed by a recent spike in homicides, almost all of them shootings.

Detroit recorded 172 homicides in the first half of this year. That’s up 15% over last year.

Chief Ralph Godbee unveiled some new initiatives to counter that. One of them is Project Inside-Out, which is a modified version of the something the department has done before.

Deputy Chief James Tolbert says it will take officers from desk jobs and put them on patrol in designated areas. 

“They’re working a 40-hour week doing administrative jobs. We’re going to take one of those days from them, where they’ll have to go out on the street. That will give us well over 250 officers that we can deploy.”

Tolbert says that’s all part of a broader effort to increase community engagement.

Police  say that engagement is key. They say that without more community informants, there’s only so much the police can do to combat the violence.

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.