Duggan to announce funding opportunity for community organizations fighting crime

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 19:05:45-05

(WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivers his state of the city address tonight at 8 p.m.

Taking an in-depth look at what he will be discussing, he is expected to talk about how the Michigan Central Development is being transformed into a campus for the future of mobility - leading to more investments.

He will outline a 10-step plan to improve neighborhoods by addressing illegal dumping, replacing sidewalks and expanding beautification grants to community organizations.

The mayor will also provide a major update on crime reduction strategies. City leaders say the plan to address crime goes beyond policing in new and innovative ways.

Violence happens in an instant. But the aftermath changes entire lives

"It hasn’t been a day that went by. I haven’t been able to sleep. Hardly eat. I am traumatized. Someone needs to speak up. Someone knows what happened to my sister. It was broad daylight," says Holly Hogans, as she held a picture of her sister Karmen Hogan.

Someone shot the 36-year-old poet and small business owner around 12:30 on June 30, 2022 -killing her near the intersection of Van Dyke and Badger on the city’s east side.

"He is loving and caring. He will help you at the drop of a hat," said Linda Smith.

Smith held a picture of her grandson, Marquese Smith, and his friend Teron Flowers. Police have not arrested anyone for murdering them on December 15, 2021, around 6:30 pm near where we stood for the interview at the Martin Luther King Apartments.

She says her grandson’s friend was a Marine veteran and dad.

"He leaves behind a little boy that is 4 and he wears a chain around his neck for his dad. So we are all struggling," says Smith.

"I can stand on my porch and see where my son was killed. I live this every day," says Beverly Winfrey, who is asking for justice for her son 27-year-old Steven Radcliff who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a white Ford Escape on March 17, 2020.

They all turned to Minister Malik Shabazz’s New Marcus Garvey Movement in Detroit. The organization goes door to door passing out flyers asking for tips, cleaning up crime-ridden neighborhoods, and marching against violence.

"40 years of helping the police with murder and rape and robbery and missing and dope houses. We have closed down over 2,000 drug houses and done everything we could to help," says Shabazz.

Seeing the impact of violence, not just on direct victims, but on all who love them, and the impact community organizations can have as they work to prevent and solve crimes, the mayor’s office asked a question, what if we didn’t just fund such organizations, but took it a step further.

"This is an opportunity to say what if you had a little bit more and see - would it make a difference?" says Detroit’s Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison.

Bettison says community groups have done this as volunteers. But the mayor is announcing a program that is putting out a call for bids for funding to help police prevent crimes. But to prove that it works, each bid will be for prevention in a specific high-crime neighborhood, and crime rates will be tracked. Success will result in additional funding bonuses.

"That incentive-based performance piece has anyone else done anything like that?"

"I am not aware of anywhere," said Bettison

"Do you think funding groups like this will help?"

"I definitely think it will help."

Minister Malik Shabazz sees potential too and is looking into it. He is concerned about restricting a project to a specific neighborhood as someone who responds where he sees needs.

"The fine print is the issue. You aren’t going to turn someone away if they are out of your square mile. Never. We work all over," Shabazz says.

"The way to sustain a program is to show that it works and to have the metrics to prove that it works. So that is what we are going to do in the city of Detroit," says Bettison.