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Detroit's new violence prevention program announces its first six partner groups

Detroit Skyline
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Detroit skyline

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the six community partners that will be part of the city's new ShotStoppers initiative.

The program — not to be confused with ShotSpotter, the controversial gunshot detection technology — was first floated by Duggan in his most recent State of the City speech.

In the speech, Duggan relayed a comment he said he heard from an activist: "This ShotSpotter is great, but you need something more. That’s after the gun has been fired. You need me, I’m a shot-stopper."

The ShotStopper program has a planned budget of $10 million and will give each partner group $175,000 every quarter in funding and an additional potential $87,500 to $175,000 based on crime reduction success.

Each group will focus on a 3.5 to 4.5 square mile designated area which will be called Community Violence Intervention Zones.

The partner organizations are:

  • Detroit Peoples Community 
  • Detroit 300
  • New Era Community Connection 
  • Force Detroit
  • Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Denby Neighborhood Alliance, and Camp Restore 
  • Detroit Friends and Family 

"Together, these organizations have decades of experience preventing and responding to violence," the city said in a press release accompanying the announcement.
In a news conference unveiling the new partners, Duggan said they pitched a variety of strategies for addressing violence.

“We sat down with the activists who are in the neighborhoods and we said let's try something very different. We have six winning groups. I have a list of all six of them. They have six different ideas on how you reach people to change what's going on," Duggan said.

The groups will often meet with each other to discuss strategies and tactics to help one another to prevent crime, said Duggan.

Not everyone is satisfied with the city’s new decision.

Alejandro Navarrete, the research and policy director at the social justice group "Detroit Action," said the initiative isn't a good use of public funds.

“This is an incomplete and ineffectual approach to an initiative that is complicated because it has its roots in poverty and a lack of opportunities and lack of economic mobility for folks," Navarette said.

And ACLU of Michigan attorney Ramis Wadood said Detroit needs a more radical change in its strategy.

“If the city is truly committed to countering violence; gun violence and violence of all kinds it will totally revamp its approach to public safety not just allocate a small amount of funding. It needs to start from scratch as far as thinking about how it approaches public safety and how it interacts with the community."

Toussaint joined Michigan Radio in June 2022 as a newsroom intern and is currently working in his second summer. He is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., majoring in journalism and minoring in Afro-American Studies.