What's been done since Local 4 Defenders aired stories

Defenders return to Detroit 'danger zones' exposed before

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter

DETROIT - In our business, if you don't stay after a problem, it often doesn't get fixed. The Local 4 Defenders took their hidden cameras back to the scene of two high-profile stories to see if police are taking care of business.

Defender hidden cameras were back on the streets at the exact same spots where they exposed serious dangers to children.

Related: Prostitutes, kids sharing same bus stop

Detroit Defender volunteers have been calling about Detroit "danger zones," including Cass Tech High School, where student have to deal with heroin dealers selling to addicts as the kids come to and from school.

Related: Cameras catch addicts, dealers within students' distances

"If the bus doesn't come fast enough, they'll attack you, interrogate you with questions, make you feel uncomfortable," said a 12th-grade student.

Detroit Defender volunteers also suggested using hidden cameras at the bus stops on John R Street, between 6 Mile and 8 Mile, where prostitutes were on every corner sharing sidewalk space with children trying to catch the bus to school.

"There is a naked lady that walks around and throws her dress above her head," said Andrea Campbell, an upset mother.

Parents and students told the Defenders they had repeatedly called the cops, but the cops didn't seem to care enough to respond immediately.

"We can only call the police so much, and they take hours and hours to get here," said Campbell.

Is anything different, eight weeks later?

Eight weeks after the Defenders ran their stories and residents responded, demanding action, has anyone done anything to solve the problems?

Hidden cameras were recently rolling on John R Street and several of the same prostitutes were seen, but the Defenders also saw something else: more squad cars, driving up and down John R, and even stopping to shoo the women away.

But is it working?

The Defenders followed a woman as she walked away. Less than five minutes after the police car left, she was jumping into a man's car and performing a sexual act. The prostitutes are in broad daylight, parked right in front of family homes, where anyone walking by or looking out the window would know exactly what's going on.

"I think it's terrible because I see the police coming up and down here all the time, and they don't stop them," said Katrice Redding, a mother.

Residents appreciate the effort and hope more will be done.

"The prostitutes aren't as prevalent as they were before," said Andrea Malone, a mother. "I see more police cars out and it helped."

What about the heroin dealers outside Cass Tech?

The Defenders also took their hidden cameras back to Cass Tech High School to see if police are doing anything about the heroin dealers.

At Cass Tech, police are making the grade -- the area is much safer for students.

Watch: Followup: Detroit students share street with drug dealers

The heroin dealers are no longer on Henry Street; kids coming to and from the bus stop are no longer harassed by addicts or drug dealers. They are going to and from school, the way kids should, focused on the school day, not on dangerous drug dealers.

"I want to thank Channel 4 for bringing this to our attention," said Elvin Barren, of the Detroit Police Department.

Detroit police said they swooped in immediately, making a huge impact.

"We arrested a guy with 90 packets of heroin," said Barren.

As for the prostitution problem on John R Street, Detroit police said they are aware and working to eliminate it.

"We are staying out there," Barren said.

The Defenders will continue to follow up to make sure the police follow through.

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