DETROIT—Mayor Dave Bing on Wednesday announced the reopening of six mini police stations by January and plans to open seven additional mini-stations across the city in March of 2013.
The main goal of the initiative is to develop better relationships between residents and police and build a preventative strategy to curb crime, according to Interim Police Chief Chester Logan.
“What we want to do is solve more neighborhood problems. Many of these neighborhood problems can be mediated,” Logan said.
Each mini station will be staffed with one permanent police officer, a reservist and a community volunteer. The permanent of the officer will get to know people who visit the mini station and their issues on a person basis. “This is your officer,” Logan said.
Funding to reopen police mini-stations and more than double the number of new mini stations across the city will come in part from the Federal Department of Justice.
Bing said he could not share funding specifics at Wednesday’s press conference but that he expected the Department of Justice to provide some funding for the mini-station initiative.
“I am not ready to talk about dollars but they [the Department of Justice] said is that they were supportive.
Bing said the ability to have one police officer to talk to and share information with will mend the often tense relationships between residents and police officers.
“The initiative will increase our police presence within our communities and strengthen basic public safety services for out residents.” Bing said. “The primary goal is to bring our police department and communities closer together to fight crime and improve the quality of life throughout the city.
Services at neighborhood mini-stations include crime reporting, interaction with a permanent police officer,
completing citizen incident reports and hosting and organizing community meetings and patrols.
Minis-stations, once opened, will serve the public weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
While mini-stations are not a new concept in Detroit, over the past years they have not been open and run steadily.
During his brief tenure former Interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. and former Police Chief James Barren made an attempt to reopen mini-stations, but the efforts were buried amid a flurry of election turnover.
Mini police stations have existed in Detroit since the 1970s, when they were considered a trailblazing measure in crime fighting according to Logan.
“I can remember journalists as far away as Japan studying our mini-station concept,” Logan said.