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Many Detroit neighborhoods are doing their part to keep crime under control. Across the city, they're using volunteer patrols, private guard services and websites coupled with community meetings that exhort members to call 911 the moment they see trouble.
Residents and business owners in many neighborhoods said those efforts have kept crime low, despite Detroit's epidemic of abandoned homes and escalating gunplay, says a Detroit Free Press article.
"East English Village, a collection of 2,100 mostly Tudor-style homes on Detroit's east side, has more than a dozen residents who volunteer for citizen patrols, driving their own cars identified with magnetized signs. It also has a private guard who patrols in a marked truck,' the report says. "Each household is asked to contribute $100 a year."
In the business district, merchants each started paying up to $2,000 a year for added security a few years ago, the report says. Since 2008, the money has paid to have graffiti removed as soon as it was spotted, and last year, the funds began paying off-duty Detroit police officers $25.59 an hour to conduct bicycle patrols in full uniform, the report says. The patrols focus on such concerns as loitering and public intoxication -- behaviors that don't justify a 911 call but that research and experience show can lead to crime while creating worry among law-abiding citizens.
In Indian Village, a neighborhood of 356 upscale, historic homes on Detroit's near east side, a volunteer patrol augments the private service patrolling 70 hours a week -- paid for with fees of $360 that about half of the households pay yearly.