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Detroit Police announce plans to manage crowds and violence downtown

Blue light flasher atop of a police car. City lights on the background.
Tiko/Tiko - stock.adobe.com
Blue light flasher atop of a police car. City lights on the background.

The Detroit Police Department is launching a 12-point plan this weekend, to control crowds and violence downtown this summer. The plan comes after six shootings over the weekend in two of downtown's most popular areas left one person dead.

There will be increased police presence, road closures, no parking zones, business inspections and more lighting in Greektown and on Detroit’s Riverwalk.

There will also be more video cameras downtown, and some will allow you to see yourself as you walk past.

Darryl Woods founded Fighting the Good Fight, an organization dedicated to repairing relationships between communities and police. He spoke Thursday during a press conference announcing the plan.

"We denounce all of the violence that's going on. This is not a downtown thing, but it's a Detroit thing. Downtown is Detroit," he said.

Police also intend to enforce the city’s curfew for minors. Parents will have to pick children up from a precinct and may get a $500 ticket.

"We are seeing crowds like we haven't seen in decades. Great cities handle large crowds in their downtown areas weekend after weekend without incident. And we are going to learn that as well," Mayor Mike Duggan said.

The 12-point plan will include undercover officers, enforcement of noise and open-alcohol ordinances and police keeping an eye out for folks illegally carrying firearms downtown.

Chief James White said he met with City Council President Mary Sheffield and business owners to come up with a plan to address the crowds and violence.

"The word is clear," said activist Maurice Hardwick, also known as Pastor Mo. "They have a strategic 12 step program. They are not going to allow you to take over the city. So this is a no beef zone."

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.