JEI Admin

Melanie Piana

Secondary Patrol Yields Significant Drop in Crime

East Jefferson corridor benefits from off-duty officers


Detroit has seen a significant drop in crime over the last few years. For the first time in a long time, residents, business owners and visitors are enthusiastic about the public safety groundwork being laid throughout the city. And no place is the impact more deeply felt than the east Jefferson corridor.

Essential to the reduction in crime has been Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig’s popular Operation Clean Sweep, a massive east side crime raid that resulted in an immediate drop in  crime with the arrest of 32 serious offenders. However, when it comes to everyday patrolling,  the Jefferson East Police Patrol program-a highly effective use of off-duty DPD officers-has made a significant impact on making the east Jefferson corridor a safe place to live, work, eat and play.

“Using DPD secondary employment was a great decision,” says Duncan Eady, clean and safe senior manager for Jefferson East, Inc. “Not only are we working with trustworthy men and women who know our neighborhoods, it’s a great opportunity for cops to do real community-based policing.”

Recent CompStat reports indicate the most significant drop in crime took place in the corridor’s eastern districts of Marina District and Jefferson-Chalmers. From July 24, 2013 to April 2, 2014 overall crime in the eastern districts was reduced by 14 percent. Burglary was reduced by 38 percent; robbery was reduced by 30 percent; stolen vehicles plummeted by 31 percent;Larceny  was reduced by 10 percent; and aggravated assault decreased by 6 percent.

During the same time period, the corridor’s western districts-the Villages, Rivertown and Lafayette Park-saw overall crime reduced by 7 percent. Assaults went down by an impressive 15 percent while burglary dropped 12 percent and vehicle theft decreased by 13 percent.

“This is really serious, foundational stuff,” says JEI’s executive director, Joshua Elling.

Elling believes that these new safety initiatives are important for three reasons.

First, crime is detrimental to new investment. “In the past, investors have told me that crime or fear of crime puts banks on edge. I had one developer tell me that he almost lost a $4 million loan after the bank saw the crime stats. That’s just not something we were willing to accept. Now that we have these exciting new safety programs, JEI will keep pushing the crime rates down,” Elling says.

Second, safe neighborhoods are essential to the retention and attraction of homeowners. For obvious reasons, these quality-of-life matters are something that Jefferson East, Inc. prioritizes.

Third, safe environments are an issue of equity. Whether it’s a young new artist moving to West Village, the mayor living in the Manoogian Mansion or a senior citizen who made his way to the Motor City during the Great Migration; a safe environment benefits all.

And while the Jefferson East Police Patrol is effective, popular and hard to live without, this program is completely reliant upon the generous support of outside funders such as the Kresge Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Stroh Companies, MHT Housing and Lafayette Townhomes. The Hudson Webber Foundation has also contributed generously to this program.

“We maintain that the east Jefferson corridor is one of the most beautiful parts of the city of Detroit and  it needs to be protected. Not only does this area boast stunning greenways and waterfront offerings; its historic significance and amazing housing stock cannot be overestimated.  That’s why we work tirelessly on fund development,” says Elling.

If you are interested in contributing to the Jefferson East Police Patrol, please contact Joshua Elling at 313-331-7939 or email jelling[at]jeffersoneast[dot]org.