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Detroit Murder Total Rises As Police Take Budget Cuts, Lack Permanent Chief

December 6, 2012 08:45:15 am

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing unveiled his latest effort to curb crime in a city awash in violence, hours after four more people were shot and killed, the Detroit News reports. Speaking hours after the murders and another brazen gas station armed robbery, Bing said that six police mini-stations opened yesterday and seven more will do so by March. The initiative will increase police presence in neighborhoods that have seen at least 362 homicides so far this year, already more than last year and approaching the 366 recorded in New York, with more than 10 times the population of Detroit. Police stress that overall violent crime is down this year, despite the increase in homicides. A series of high-profile incidents and overall fatigue is stoking fears among residents at a time when the city is facing significant challenges in its Police Department and with budget cuts. Officers took a 10 percent pay cut with other city workers this year, the force is without a permanent police chief, and the city doesn't have enough money to pay a search firm to find one.

A federal judge overseeing court-ordered reforms lambasted the department last month for not moving fast enough to implement them. An October poll commissioned by The Detroit News found that crime is overwhelmingly the top concern among residents, prompting such fear that 40 percent of the respondents plan to move within five years. Residents cringe at Detroit's "Murder City" nickname, but in June, the FBI reported that Detroit last year had the second-highest violent crime rate of any city with a population of more than 100,000. It was behind only Flint.

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