Speaking of both the mayor’s race and cops, News Hits suggests that when it comes to the Detroit Police Department, candidate Kwame Kilpatrick think twice before tussling with his opponent Gil Hill, who put in more than 30 years on the force before retiring.
At a debate last week hosted by the Women’s Economic Club at Cobo Hall, Kilpatrick complained that Detroit doesn’t use a crime-mapping system that allows the Police Department to deploy officers to areas where crime rates are high. When Hill, a former homicide commander, informed Kilpatrick that the department does in fact use a crime-mapping system, the state legislator disagreed.
“I met with Chief Wilson and we have crime mapping, but it’s only used by the chief’s office,” said Kilpatrick. “Until we get those crime-mapping systems and a complete program out to the precincts they don’t do any good.”
Though the crowd cheered, News Hits knew better than to trust him on this subject. In fact, during a visit to the Sixth Precinct more than a year ago, we were shown by Sgt. Danny Marshall how crime-mapping is used. We called Marshall last week to ask if other precincts use the crime-mapping system.
“Everybody uses it,” he said.
To be absolutely certain, we also called the community policing division and spoke with Officer Renee Hall, who confirmed that “it’s used departmentwide.” In fact, the department provides this information to citizens living in the boundaries of the 2nd and 8th and 9th Precincts, she says. If the citizens find the information useful, the department plans to make crime-mapping available to the public in every precinct.
Maybe if Kilpatrick actually bothered to find out what is going on in the Detroit Police Department — which, in case he doesn’t know, is a requirement of the job he’s seeking — he would discover that in some ways the department is better off than he would like the public to think.Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]