Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lights Out For Detroit

UPDATE: (6-17-2012) I have had to go through and fix or delete a lot of my links in this article. Many or all of the Fox 2 links didn't work. They are now updated, changed or another story found to make the point. I also added a bit here and there so it's worth a second look.

Charlie LeDuff "9 shot in 90 minutes. Detroit on a Friday night. Where's the gun squad in DPD? They got rid of it."

(Viewer Comment) ..in Detroit you have to be your own Fire Department, Police, and Ambulance Service because those Services are a scarcity and when crime is increasing...man, no help or services for the "Hood."

Lights out: If you live in the neighborhoods of Detroit that has seen many people leave, the lights will be going dark. For some that doesn't mean much since the lights didn't work anyway, but for others it means one more layer of protection is removed. 

There are 88,000 street lights. 40% are already broken. The City says that it will save money by making the number of working lights 46,000. And who gets to keep the lights? The Downtown area because that's where the money is made, the more densely populated areas because they must be more worthy, and um..... It comes down to this, City officials know that they cannot force people to move from “distressed areas”, so they are going to encourage them to leave by cutting off services.

Now that isn't the only change

~ The police (and their supporters) have started many "new" programs to combat crime. The police stations are now closed for more of the day than they are open. They are open 8 hours a day. They have this new and wonderful (not) system called "Virtual Precincts" that will let you record your crime complaint and someone will get back to you. 

They can't come out for any crime that doesn't involve an 'in your face, right now threat', or a death. Of course, they kind of didn't really show up before but that's another rant. Read this if you are interested. They are very under staffed, under supplied and under funded. 

The pastors are going to walk the streets to get in touch with the common folks and try to head off crime. The police are supposed to stop people with broken windows are tail lights that are out in order to stop bigger crimes from happening. *scratches head* um... I wish them luck with that.

A must see link is this one that shows the crime rate "as it's happening" but also the one that talks about how those numbers are only part of the story. (here) The numbers are worse then they appear because many people just don't call the police anymore because they know it won't amount to much, the police classify crimes to suit their purposes (an almost stolen car becomes a vandalism), and because sometimes the dead just can't stand up to be counted.

~ The good old days, and now:
Old days: Detroit knew a middle/ working class population that was over 1,800,000 in 1950  

And Now: In 2010 the population was down to 713,777 and shrinking. 53% of children live below the poverty line.

Old days: Detroit was the capital of industry. 

Now days: 47% of the population is functionally illiterate. They can get by but that's about it.

Here is a link to the most dangerous cities in America with some great numbers to put it in perspective. (June 10, 2012 the homicide number was 149, 4 more than the total in 2011)

~ Other City Services like the fire department and the EMS are suffering. The fire department was told to let houses burn, have a gifted fire engine that is hidden away somewhere, and not near enough people to man the hoses. The EMS is on the chopping block, doesn't have the life saving equipment it needs, and will openly tell you that you are in a city that will let you die. (watch that here) The empty lots get mowed once a year and that's if you are lucky. awww but yet we still pay taxes to keep our service running well.

My Point: It is the everyday people who suffer. It isn't who we voted for (because I didn't vote these folks in), it isn't my children causing the trouble, I am not a drug dealer or thief, and I do the best that I can with what I have to work with. I love hearing how we should just move, leave the city, and let it die. Here's the rub, not everyone can just move. There is money issues, work issues, and so much more. And besides, why should we have to run? 

The city demands our taxes or they will take our homes but we can't demand that they mow their lawns, pay their light bill, and keep our emergency safety departments in working order?

And if Detroit can fall, what makes anyone think that the rest of America is immune? Have you all looked at Chicago lately? Not good.

On the governmental level there needs to be changes. No, not a party change but a "responsible to your people" change. The party line crap is part of the reason no movement has been made on all levels, from city to country. We need people in office that will do their job, do it right, and do it in a way that will safe the basic fabric of America and it's towns and cities.

On the street level, we need to get together and fix what we can. We need to watch out for each other. We need to do clean up our streets. I take care of three lots that I don't own. I help my neighbor. I watch out for the kids walking and playing in my area. I make sure my kids do not grow up to be gangsters and thieves.  

We are all in this together. This city, this state, this country. We need to get back to basics and pull together.

Other Sources and links:

(that last one is from the UK.... nice. I cringe when we hit the national news but now we are hitting the other side of the pond. Wonderful.)

There are a few of my posts that go along with this:

The Updated American Revolution

Dying to be Poor



The Poor Side Of The Hood

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