1/2 of Detroit residents say they don't feel safe in city; many look to police for safety, answers

Detroit News poll shows 40 percent of Detroit residents plan to leave city in next 5 years

Author: Rod Meloni, Local 4 Business Editor, @RodMeloni
Published On: Oct 09 2012 05:00:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 09 2012 09:01:21 PM EDT
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DETROIT -

Detroit Police Departmen 12th Precinct According to a Detroit News poll, 1/2 of Detroit residents say they don't fell safe in the city.

With the Detroit Police Department's recent scandal, many Detroiters don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. According to the poll, 40 percent say they plan to leave the city in the next five years and 49 percent say they just don't feel safe in the city they call home.

Local 4 went the Detroit police 12th Precinct on Tuesday where at least one thing was made clear: The only way to feel safe anymore is to stay close to the cops.

Nearby, retiree Lloyd Halbert worked on keeping up his yard while waiting for his grandchildren to get home from school. He has considered moving south for better weather. But from his front porch one can see Halbert's peace of mind: The 12th Precinct.

"The police station is right here so I feel kind of safe. But when I leave here you know I'm just like everybody else," he said.

But even the police stations aren't safe. A gunman walked into a precinct last year and opened fire.

"If they close that precinct? Oh, I'm leaving," said Halbert.

There are no plans to close the precinct.

Police Chief Ralph Godbee's scandalous retirement on Monday reflects poorly on Mayor Dave Bing and the city, said City Council President Charles Pugh.

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh "The Ralph Godbee situation should have been dealt with the day that news broke," said Pugh. "If I were mayor I'd have been very clear that we have a new interim chief and that crime fighting has not stopped, but it took a week for that to happen."

Former police officer, City Council Pro Tem Gary Brown said the mayor has a consent agreement's help.

"To give him the flexibility that gets those officers that are doing clerical and administrative work out from behind those desks and into scout cars on patrol where the neighborhood citizens can see them," Brown said.

Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis said more cops on the street is what the mayor wants, too.

"No. I don't think it's too big. It's really about Detroiters coming together to focus on the issue. That's what it's all about," Lewis said.

Brown does not believe the mayor and the former chief are effective in combating crime. Most residents who Local 4 spoke with on Monday don't either.