Community groups mark success of Detroit's ShotStopper program in neighborhoods

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 18:40:28-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — "He was murdered in a drive-by. Guys came down, outside skating, just 11 years old and gone forever," said Ray Winans, a community activist.

The reasons are clear and the call to action is being answered.

“We created a direct response, right, for his baby, and these guys decided to come together and stop letting the babies die,” Winans said.

Now, that response is showing up in real numbers with a 50% to 70% drop in violent crimes in the east side and west side neighborhoods that two Detroit ShotStopper groups serve.

“I think love is working. It’s actually caring about people who are at the center of violence,” said Alia Harvey-Quinn, executive director of FORCE Detroit.

“These are individuals that they respect that can effectively mediate the conflict like no other,” Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison said.

This round of talk with the community troops from Detroit Friends and Family and FORCE Detroit inside Northwest Activities Center followed a critical announcement that their effort to save lives will now be supported by more dollars and cents.

“That’s what it looks like. It looks like connections — that’s what it looks like. And some money will be behind this,” said WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis.