Advance Notice: Briefs

Duggan pledges to enlist citizens to reduce gun violence

By: - March 8, 2023 8:50 am

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Tuesday during his 10th State of the City address held at the Michigan Central Station. | City of Detroit photo

As gun violence has become a growing topic in Lansing amid the Feb. 13 Michigan State University mass shooting, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Tuesday that he will partner with community groups to help curb gun violence and homicides in the city. 

“DPD [Detroit Police Department] doesn’t have the power to take the anger out of people’s hearts,” said Duggan during his 10th State of the City address held at the Michigan Central Station. “So we’re giving violence prevention groups a chance to work with us to prevent violence.”

The city’s contracting and procurement department will issue a Request for Proposals seeking plans to reduce gun violence in defined areas from local organizations known for intervening and mediating situations involving public safety. 

During his presentation, Duggan thanked City Council and former state House member Fred Durhal Jr., who chairs the local legislative branch’s Violent Crime Task Force. 

The $10 million program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, will provide $700,000 per year to organizations in a two-year contract and groups that show success will receive an additional $700,000 per year to expand their services. 

On Monday, End Gun Violence Michigan and the Council of Baptist Pastors held a news conference at Jordan Missionary Baptist Church on Detroit’s lower east side where gun violence involving youth was the topic. Several state lawmakers were present.  

“We are tired of burying children,” said the Rev. Richard White, Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit & Vicinity president, during the Monday gathering. 

Detroit Action, a city-based social justice nonprofit, was critical of the Duggan administration’s attempt to curb gun violence and called the plan a “nonstarter.” The group said in a press release that DPD must first address “violence, racism, and corruption still pervasive among police practices.” 

“For the past decade, Detroiters have waited for Mayor Duggan to propose an equitable budget that puts people over profits,” said Scott Holiday, Detroit Action political director. “Unfortunately, the vision for a thriving Detroit continues to be unattainable because the mayor has chosen to increase the Detroit Police Department’s budget to a staggering $368 million, while crucial basic necessities such as housing get a fraction of that support. 

“We’re tired of hearing the same rhetoric to justify police overspending,” Holiday continued. “There is no sensible argument explaining why law enforcement outspends necessary infrastructure and social services by hundreds of millions of dollars. While we strongly believe that launching a community violence intervention program is a step in the right direction, we strongly oppose housing it within the Detroit Police Department.”


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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit.