First District Commander McCartney welcomes police redistricting plan
by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, January 2007) At a December 13th safety meeting at Sagrada Familia Church in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, First District Commander Thomas N. McCartney called the proposed police redistricting plan a “win – win” for both the First Police District and the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Under the plan, all of Detroit Shoreway would be in the First District, which would gain more officers.

The citywide plan, proposed by Cleveland Department of Public Safety Director Martin Flask, calls for elimination of the Third Police District, turning over jail duties to the Sheriff’s office, and creation of a new downtown police unit. The officers freed up by the new plan would be reassigned to patrols in the other police districts.

Currently the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is split between the First and Second Districts at W. 65th Street.  McCartney said the proposed First District boundary would extend east to the boundary of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood (roughly W. 44th Street on the north and slightly further west as you move south). Having the neighborhood entirely in the First Police District would allow for better coordination between police and the neighborhood organization, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO).

While the First Police District would have a larger population to serve, it would also gain forty police officers. McCartney says  the First District currently has 176 officers, with present capacity at 182. The First District should be allocated 222 officers under the new plan.

McCartney also praised the adoption of a new automatic vehicle location system, whereby dispatchers will be able to see each police car’s location on a map, enabling dispatchers to more readily send the closest vehicle to respond to an incoming call.

At the meeting police officers offered advice to residents about how to protect themselves, their property and their families and how to make safety a way of life. Advise included:
    - keeping lights on at night
    - locking garages and doors
    - recording serial numbers and marking property to identify it in case it is stolen, and
    - not going out alone at night.

Officers noted a recent increase in auto thefts.

Officers advised residents that most sexual assaults were by male relatives such as brothers, uncles, grandparents or Mom’s boyfriend. Sexual assaults by strangers on the street do occur, but are more infrequent, officers said.

Violent crimes with guns are mostly drug-related, police said. Residents at the meeting described incidents of shootings, pistol-whippings, and people firing guns at night. One resident reported that there was a period of nightly gunfire last summer near W. 80th and Detroit. She said those firing weapons simply disappeared when police were called.

Officers urged residents to continue to call when there are shots fired. While they acknowledged that the perpetrators often disappear, the police said they have taken many weapons off the street.

A woman on W. 76th and Dudley reported a period of calm on the street recently, saying police had arrested most of the troublemakers. However, she said that over the past six years she had 3 lawnmowers stolen from her locked garage.

Other problems reported included vandals stealing copper pipes or aluminum from houses and garages. Residents reported squatting and vandals breaking windows and spray painting empty houses at night.

Commander McCartney urged residents to remain involved and offered the following phone numbers for assistance at the First District:

Commander’s office: 623-5105
Detectives: 623-5118
Vehicle or traffic issues: 623-5104 (Sergeant Diaz)
Vice issues dealing with bars or prostitution: 623-5113.
The Commander invited residents to attend the First District Police Community Relations Committee meeting on the last Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Sts. Phillip and James, 3757 Bosworth Avenue.


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