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Detroit Chief James White, Mayor Mike Duggan meet with President Biden at White House

James White and Mike Duggan meet Joe Biden
Posted at 10:19 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 23:25:04-04

WASHINGTON (WXYZ) — From a drive-by shooting to the killing of a 15-year-old girl and a massive fight leaving four people shot, it’s been another week marked by violence in Detroit. However despite the tragedy unfolding, those working to stop the violence see hope.

“A lot more things need to be done, however we got to start somewhere,” said Pastor Maurice L. Hardwick of Power Ministry and Living Peace Movement.

Hardwick has spent years working to curb crime in the city of Detroit and despite recent headlines, he feels progress in his city.

“It feels better, it feels different," Hardwick said. "It feels like Detroit is making its way back to being a major market city again.”

So far, the statistics back him up. As of May 3 in Detroit, homicides, sex assaults and aggravated assaults are all trending down compared to 2021. Only carjackings saw an increase by a total of 12 incidents.

Friday in Washington, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James White met with President Joe Biden discussing how the city is using funds from the American Rescue Plan.

Detroit was just one of a handful of cities represented at the White House to talk about the investments in crime prevention.

“They (Detroit) are using these ARP funds to modernize police training facilities, to invest in retention of police officers, gun violence prevention efforts, gunshot detection technology,” Biden said in front of the White House.

After the event, White spoke to 7 Action News over Zoom from inside the White House.

“It's humbling for me and very happy to talk about our city,” White said. "They deserve safety and they deserve to be acknowledged.”

White says he spoke with the president about how Detroit is using the ARP money, which in part has gone to community outreach and mental health programs. He also told the president about the city’s crime numbers and the positive trends so far this year.

“This is no cause for celebration. One injured child, and we have a lot of them, is too many," White said. "We’re not here to celebrate, but what we are here to talk about is how we can deploy these dollars and these strategies to make these communities safe.”

As for Hardwick, he agrees that Detroit still has a lot of work to do but says the work being done is already having an impact.

“Detroit feels different, and a lot of people are looking in our backyard,” Hardwick said.