Stir It Up
New tactic for crime?
Detroit cops to target gang members with 'cease fire' strategy
Published: September 26, 2012
I asked Godbee if he was going to build cases against drug dealers and then not arrest them. His answer was a forthright, "No." At least for now, Detroit will apparently only get the cease-fire portion of the program. That will be difficult enough. Getting police to change the way they think and behave will be tough, let alone the criminals. It will also be tough for communities when members realize a different neighborhood from theirs is getting the program. But that's how it works: start in a very ugly spot and build out from there.
Godbee pointed out that in the past there has been a problem with interagency cooperation because there is competition for who gets credit. Moving forward he said, "When the criminal justice system works, we all get credit."
Making the system work, now that's a concept.
Other than the cease-fire stuff, there wasn't a lot to get me excited at the forum. But I did get the impression that Chief Godbee may well be one of the good guys. During the three-and-a-half years of Mayor Bing's administration, police department compliance with its 2003 federal consent decree has gone from 29 percent to 85 percent. Godbee has been chief for two of those years and was assistant chief under Warren Evans. That shows what you can do when you actually want to do it.
"Until you admit you have a problem you can't start to solve it," Godbee said.
Hmm ... could that be one of the 12 steps to getting Detroit back on its feet?
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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