Detroit chief appoints commander to keep downtown area safe

Chief James Craig appoints commander to new position

Author: Will Jones, Local 4 Reporter, @Local4Will, wjones@wdiv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:26:56 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 08 2013 06:46:53 PM EDT
DETROIT -

Remember the troubling video of teens on a rampage in downtown Detroit last February near Winter Blast or the crazed scene of people running for their lives after they believed they heard gunshots at the Detroit fireworks back in June?

Now as the new head of the downtown services bureau Commander Renee Hall is in charge of making sure events downtown remain safe.

"We do have a duty to enforce laws and secure the downtown area," said Hall.

Chief James Craig announced the new position when he unveiled his new management team at DPD Headquarter Tuesday morning.

Commander Hall says there have always been units focused on downtown, but the change is they're now working altogether to fight crime with one person leading the effort.

"There are burglaries, some robberies; we have the same issues in the downtown area as we have in the rest of the city so there is a need to secure it " said Hall.

Most people Local 4 talked with say they feel safe when they come to downtown to work or for entertainment.

Tony Stovall owns a popular men's clothing store downtown. Stovall recalls when thieves packed up thousands of dollars' worth of clothes from his store.

Luckily it's the one and only time he's been hit.

"I think what happens when you have a large group of people getting together unfortunately then add a little alcohol and cheerfulness, I think we act a little reckless at times," said Stovall. "Overall downtown is the safest part of Detroit."

"I feel pretty safe down here, I had to come to my car here at night and I haven't felt in danger down here," said Alison Diem who works downtown.