In 2015, the City registered a record low of 52 fires over the three-day period, down from 97 the year before. Of the 52 fires last year, 23 were deemed suspicious, most of which were in unoccupied structures.
To kick off this year’s effort, the Mayor was joined at Heilmann Recreation Center by a host of community and business leaders, as well as top City officials including Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones, Police Chief James Craig and Department of Neighborhoods representatives.
The Mayor emphasized the important role the community plays in keeping the city safe during Angels’ Night – the City of Detroit’s largest volunteer effort. Last year, more than 4191 active patrollers signed up and another 7,221 volunteers provided other forms of support, such as assisting in deployment centers or keeping their porch lights on.
“Detroiters, both residents and business owners, have demonstrated time and time again their commitment to their city,” said Mayor Duggan. “We must once again come together to build on our past success.”
To prepare for Angels’ Night, the City has continued its blight removal efforts to eliminate potential targets for arsonists. In 2016, the City has demolished approximately 3088 dangerous vacant houses for a total of 10,658 since January 2014. Across the city another 2,000 formerly vacant houses are being renovated and reoccupied under the City’s Land Bank auction and nuisance abatement programs. The City also has installed more than 62,000 new street lights across every neighborhood in the city and partnered with community groups to board up 514 vacant houses.
Mayor Duggan thanked this year’s sponsors, who have provided nearly $28,000 in donations and in-kind contributions so far. McDonald’s is partnering with the City of Detroit and is the lead sponsor for Angels’ Night this year. McDonald’s will provide free coffee to Angels’ Night volunteers and first responders Oct. 29-31 at participating Detroit McDonald’s locations.
“On behalf of my fellow McDonald’s restaurant owners, we applaud Mayor Duggan’s leadership and salute the first responders and countless volunteers dedicated to keeping our neighborhoods safe,” said Errol Service, McDonald’s restaurant owner. “As small business owners who are invested in the city of Detroit, we are proud to continue our support of Mayor Duggan and his administration during this year’s Angels’ Night Volunteer Campaign.”
Comerica Bank, another major sponsor, has supported the Angels’ Night campaign with more than $105,000 in donations since the program began more than 20 years ago.
Other major sponsors include: Marathon Petroleum; DMC; Detroit Renewable Energy; KEO & Associates, Inc.; International Union of Operating Engineers; Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone; Pierce, Monroe & Associates, LLC; U.S. Ecology; and White Castle. Participating White Castle locations will provide two hamburgers and a beverage to adult volunteers from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. on any of the three nights. Volunteers must go into the restaurant, not through the drive-through.
The Angels’ Night campaign includes several ways in which volunteers can get involved. Individuals may:
Watch Their Block – Volunteers are asked to carefully watch their block from their porch or window and be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.
Patrol A Neighborhood – Volunteer teams of two or more people patrol a two- to three-block radius around their neighborhoods or are assigned to patrol a specific neighborhood.
Adopt A Vacant Property – Individuals agree to watch or adopt specific vacant buildings in city neighborhoods. “This Building Is Being Watched” signs are posted on adopted buildings.
Turn On Their Porch Light – Volunteers are asked to turn on their porch lights, or any outdoor lights, between dusk and dawn.
- Turn on outside lights at their homes from dusk until morning on each day of the Halloween period.
- Report any suspicious activity they observe to the Detroit Police Department by calling 9-1-1.
- Place refuse containers or bulk items at the curb before 7 a.m. on the morning of the collection day, rather than the night before, and remove refuse containers immediately after the trash is collected.
In addition, public safety officials outlined an emergency curfew that will be in effect during the period. The emergency curfew requires all minors age 17 and younger be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with identification) from 6 p.m. on Oct. 29 to 6 a.m. on Oct. 30, and from 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 to 6 a.m. on Oct. 31.
During the emergency curfew hours, minors will be allowed to travel to and from work or educational or training programs, but they must carry proof of employment or attendance. Minors violating the curfew will be ticketed and held until picked up by a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian also may receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.
A second emergency ordinance prohibits the dispensing of fuel into portable containers from October 27 at midnight through October 31 at 11:59 p.m. except for certain emergency situations for those 18 years of age and older. The curfew and fuel restriction ordinances are pending City Council approval.