Detroit City Council members react to 'most dangerous' neighborhoods list

Detroit leaders say list of 25 'most dangerous' neighborhoods does not tell whole story

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

DETROIT - Detroit's crime problem is as bad as it gets. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr says any discussion of improving the city starts with fixing public safety.

That said, Chicago placed as many ZIP codes on's Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America list as Detroit did.

Read more: 6 Michigan neighborhoods listed as 'most dangerous'

City Council President Charles Pugh says the rankings are not fair.

"We are not giving up. We will work with the police department to get the neighborhoods safe," he said.

Mark Twain said there are lies, damn lies and statistics. In this case it's crime statistics. For instance, the map shows Fort Wayne as one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. However, on the ground it's apparent few people even live there. It is an industrial area.

If FBI crime stats aren't fair, what is?

City Council Pro-Tem and former police executive Gary Brown says it's perception of crime.

"It's really the perception of crime that's a bigger fear factor for most Detroiters than the actual statistical numbers," he said.

Brown wants police officers out from behind desks and on the streets fast.

"We've got to implement ... look outside this building, across the street, and you'll see 20 police cars sitting in a parking lot in downtown Detroit with nobody in them on patrol. I've just driven past the precinct with 20 cars sitting in the parking lot. We've got to get police officers out from behind desks," Brown said.

Finding a way to deal with Detroit's crime is the problem. Brown is first to admit the city has been too slow in figuring out how to attack this issue.

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