A University Forum on the Crime Crisis in Detroit

On September 20 and 21, 2012, the Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society (FOCIS) at Wayne State University presented City Under Siege: A University Forum on the Crime Crisis in Detroit. The two-day symposium took place on our Detroit campus and explored the concept of community policing as a strategy for reducing crime in urban areas such as Detroit.

The program featured a variety of speakers and panelists including William J. Bratton, author, former Chief of Police for Los Angeles, California. Mr. Bratton, who also served as Police Commissioner for the cities of New York and Boston, delivered the keynote address on the morning of September 21. Barbara McQuade, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and Ralph Godbee, Chief of the Detroit Police Department also participated in the program. 

Detroit’s future hinges in large part on whether or not we can solve our crime problem. For too long, Detroit’s image has been one synonymous with crime. More than once, our city has topped the list of the most dangerous cities in America. Staggering poverty, widespread unemployment and a failing school system have so far exacerbated Detroit’s crime epidemic. And with our unparalleled budget crisis, hundreds fewer city police officers may be available to protect Detroit’s more than 700,000 citizens. It very well may be that our city can go no further until we find a way for residents, visitors and investors to feel safer - and actually be safer.