Corktown Community Safety Meeting
January 8, 2015
Blake Almstead Mike Hickey Rico Razo
Brad Ballard Margaret Hughes Gloria Rocha
Dorothy Bennick Shanelle Jackson Paul J. Ryder Jr.
Mary Ellen Brennan Kennis Johnson Sam Serra
Lisa Carter Howard King, Jr. John Shirkey
Stephanie Chang Paul Krystynick Dave Steinke
Steven DiPonio Vince Keenan Justin Theut
Gary Eleinko David Larsen Captain Aric Tosqui
Darrien Franklin Krislon Nieman Beverly Troy
Chriss Gerard John Prusak Pam Turner
Tamyra Harris-Hardy Officer Pugh Debra Walker
Jacqueline Hernandez Lauren Thomas Jewel Ware
Coleman A. Young II
Introductions were made of those who had not previously attended a Corktown Community Meeting. This included residents of Hubbard Farms, Corktown and a representative from Stephanie Chang’s office.
Jewel Ware, District 2 Wayne County Commissioner outlined the roles of her office. She stated there are eight standing committees. She has been part of the Public Safety Committee. Committees for this term have not yet been assigned. Ware briefly discussed the disposition of the jail; and said while nothing has been happening, she hopes to turn that bad news into good and will keep us apprised. There are also plans to decrease the current county deficit due to the weakened tax base. The Commission is impressed with the city’s Land Bank process and initiative, and may emulate the idea. If residents are interested in who owns a particular property, they can contact her office – 313-224-0916.
DPD Captain Aric Tosqui explained how the precincts are divided based on East and West – odd numbered precincts are considered East; even – West. He talked about grants for Beat Officers to assist with drunk driving enforcement. Tosqui discussed that crime has decreased overall 42%. However, that includes a large decrease in larcenies. If larcenies are eliminated from the calculation, crime has actually decreased 10-15%. He talked about the importance of reporting crime. Because with limited funds, he has to deploy resources based on data. If crimes or suspicious activity is not reported, it is difficult to address. He also suggested that residents use the site crimemapping.com which provides information about crimes. Tosqui talked about how not to be a victim – turn on porch light, don’t leave items visible in your car and be alert. He also stated that Corktown is the safest neighborhood in the Third Precinct. Tosqui discussed the COMPSTAT process -- that has been instrumental in decreasing crime downtown and Midtown -- is coming to Corktown. The first
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meeting will be in a week, and this is a hands on initiative that includes various law enforcement agencies – DPD, FBI, Border Patrol, etc., community, business and resident partners; along with crime stats to identify and eliminate crime trends. Tosqui shared his cell phone number – 313-596-1312 and said if you send a text, please identify yourself. If someone wants specific information about a crime, information will not be provided over the phone. You will need to go to the precinct. He encouraged everyone to download the DPD Connect App, where you can post crimes and suspicious activity, and it can be done anonymously. However, it is still necessary to report real time crimes, etc. via 911.
Tosqui also mentioned that with grant money from PNC Bank, the department has eight mountain bikes with sirens and lights. The bikes are $6-$8,000 each, because of the necessary retrofitting. Both of the Corktown beat officers will be on bikes in the Spring. ALL of the B & E suspects that were apprehended, were caught via an officer on a bike.
P. J. Ryder provided a testimonial about the Beat officers conducting hands-on and thorough investigation following up of a stolen car that was retrieved because of their diligence.
There was discussion about the situation with an ‘alleged’ drug house on Wabash. Tosqui stated that the Narcotics Division conducted a raid, but found no contraband.
The request was made for additional attention during events that increase traffic / customers to the Michigan Ave. establishments, since this coincides with increase in larcenies and car thefts. Tosqui did mention that extra patrols are added to Brush Park area during downtown events. Now the Auto Show is primary focus. Tosqui wasn’t aware of the tailgating in Corktown, prior to games. He will look into extra patrols.
Lisa Carter, District 6 Police Commissioner – explained that the Board of Police Commissioners addresses complaints against officers. Complaints can be reported on-line or in person to the Office of Chief Investigator, Pamela Anderson-Drake, 313-596-2499. In 2014 there were 1,200 complaints, a decrease from the previous year. All complaints are investigated to some resolution. However, the Commission has still not gained power since the Emergency Manager. They are waiting for action / response from their counsel. Lisa provided her phone numbers – 313-596-1825.
Rico Razo, District 6 Manager provided an update since the implementation of the Management positions, March 3, 2014 -- His office received 5,000 calls and had 1,000 volunteers who assisted with community clean-ups, etc. Their department works closely with DPW; they have demolished 400 homes in our district; trash is picked up on schedule; there are 10-20 posts on properties identified as nuisance abatement in Corktown. Razo will provide those addresses to avoid any duplicate reporting from residents. He talked about the new program of providing free wood to communities that want to board up vacant, open and unsafe properties. A 10-12 day notice is required, and boards are delivered to the site the Friday before the board-up, unless other arrangements are made. He reminded the audience of the side lot program, where you can purchase the vacant lot adjacent to your property for $100. Razo clarified that the Land Bank handles only residential property and the Building Authority manages commercial buildings.
One of the big goals for that department this year is to work more closely with neighborhood associations and block clubs.
Razo stated that the Larsen Group will be the developers from Michigan & Trumbull. PAL’s headquarters will be located there, as well as 24 brownstones on Trumbull, with retail. Parking is still being worked out, and the developers know it is a main concern of the community.
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There was a question about the previous Bagley-Trumbull Market property. It was stated that there will be four retailers in that spot, who have already been identified. The owners are working to get the project finalized.
One of the residents asked who was suddenly clearing lots in North Corktown that he had been clearing for years, at his own expense. Razo said it is no one from the city, and would need more information to determine who it is.
Dana Harvey, Lighting Authority outlined the sequence of the lighting plan. Residential streets first, then collector streets – Trumbull, Rosa Parks, etc., and finally – thoroughfares --Michigan, Telegraph, etc. Thoroughfare lights will be replaced where there is currently a light. The lights in Corktown have been updated, with the exception of those in 48226, since this is actually a ‘downtown’ zip code. She will check on timing for those streets. However, there were some who identified streets with no working lights. Harvey will take those addresses and follow up. Harvey stated that the Authority identified seven historic districts, not including Corktown – that had underground circuitry and were provided different options. In Corktown, the current metal poles on Michigan Ave. will remain. She also mentioned that the city does not support alley lights. These lights are on utility poles, so DTE will replace. DTE will come out for no charge, but if the light is replaced, a resident will be charged about $17 / month. She also talked about the need to trim trees on occasion to make the new lights more effective,, but no trees are cut down. She provided her phone number for any issues – 313-324-8290.
Stephanie Chang, State Representative discussed that the session just started and committees have not been assigned. Her background and interest are in education and criminal justice, so those are the committees she prefers. She is working on issues related to charter schools and environmental justice. Chang encouraged everyone to attend the upcoming Open House for her office, which she will share with Councilmember Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, January 26th at 5:30 p.m., 1927 Rosa Parks. There will also be a Utility Assistance Day on January 30th, from 2:00p-5pm offering help with utilities as well as signing up for Obamacare before for deadline. Chang maintains the same phone number as her predecessor, Rashida Tlaib – 313-841-2240.
Coleman A. Young, II, State Senator talked extensively about the proposal to be on an upcoming ballot, requesting a tax increase to handle road maintenance. He stated that the legislature should have addressed this issue without need for a ballot proposal. Young mentioned that one of the biggest issues facing the roads is that Michigan allows the highest truck weights of all of the states; and he was surprised by the power of the trucking lobby. While legislators did not agree to reduce weight restrictions, higher fees have been assessed. Chang mentioned that some positive issues were enacted as the result of these negotiations – however, at the expense of making a decision without need for a ballot proposal.
Debra Walker talked about the need for more volunteers to participate in the neighborhood patrol. The process is flexible in terms of hours and logistics. She stated that there are effective patrols
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where volunteers sit in their cars at specific locations that offer broad vantage points, and have been deterrents to crime. Schedules are based on high crime days and hours, and volunteer’s availability. T shirts, lights, car signs and whistles are available.
Blake Almstead stated that the next Corktown Historical Society will be January 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the back room of Nemo’s (tentatively), and the Home and Garden tour will be discussed.
Community Resources Attached
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