Corktown Community Safety Meeting

Monday, October 14, 2013


Debra Walker first presented updates since the last Safety Meeting –

  • Relative to the initiative to distribute Corktown newsletters door-to-door, a Grant has been written and submitted to cover the costs of copying 1300 newsletters ten times per year. The decision for grant recipients will be made and disclosed next week. If Corktown is not awarded a grant, there will be some initiative to distribute newsletters throughout our community.

  • Information about City Council and Mayoral candidate forums has been forwarded via e-mails.

  • There is a patrol, but additional volunteers are still needed.

  • Based on the need to engage judicial representatives, there is both a Judge and Prosecutor at tonight’s meeting.

  • State Representative, Rashida Tlaib will provide an update on the scrap metal law at next meeting.


DPD Lt. Szilagy provide the following updates –

  • There has been an increase in catalytic converter thefts.

  • Crime stats for the previous two months. Some of those stats for September included 24 felony and 4 misdemeanor arrests; 26 impounded vehicles and 6 recovered stolen cars; more than 700 male and 200 females were investigated; and numerous moving and parking infractions.

  • The Central Division has a new Captain.

  • DPD will be going back to precincts.

  • New boundaries are being drawn. He does not know what those boundaries will be.

  • For now, it’s business as usual and we maintain our wonderful officers.

  • WSU will be conducting that analysis for the entire city and has hired DPD to participate. He will provide an update at a future meeting.


There was a question about the disparity in tickets dispensed to residents vs non-resident’s visiting the city for events, etc. Szilagy stated that all crimes and criminals are treated equal, and if anyone witnesses such disparity, please contact his office. He reminded us that the three busiest days of the year all impact Corktown – Tiger Opening Day, St. Patrick’s Day and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There will be additional patrol this week because of the Tiger playoff games.


Lt. Silagy mentioned that each Board of Police Commissioner’s Meeting is held in a different location, and would be a good meeting for community people to attend. It was also noted that there is no one running for Police Commissioner from District 6. However, there is still time for a write-in candidate.


There was a question about the number of alcohol related crimes. Lt. Szilagy did not have specific stats, but did state it is a large percentage.


He also talked about the worldwide epidemic of “Apple picking”. Someone steals your cell phone while you are talking on it. This way the phone is unlocked and in a position to change settings, etc. Szilagy recommended downloading the app Help Me Find My iPhone. He also stated how important it is to be aware of your surroundings and to talk on your phone in private settings and not leave it on the table while sitting at outside restaurants, etc. Nice weather is prime time for these thefts.


Corktown Community Safety Meeting – October 14, 2013

Page 2 of 3



There was also discussion that DPD has a Commercial Auto Theft Unit that addresses organized crime rings, relative to car and catalytic converter thefts. This unit does not address joy riding car thefts or petty larceny.


Judge Prentis Edwards, Jr. explained the judicial process as it relates to his office. He conducts a Felony Preliminary Examination once a suspect is apprehended. If deemed there is enough evidence to pursue, the Prosecutor’s office issues a Warrant and the suspect is arraigned and it is determined if there is cause for trial. There was discussion about options other than jail – such as, education and rehabilitation. Judge Edwards stated that those are often the options presented, especially for misdemeanors, who are rarely jailed. He also talked about Street Court, which is a court that is based throughout the community. The judge also explained the difference between a felony and misdemeanor. Felony theft is based on value of item(s) stolen. Car thefts are felonies.

There was concern about methods used to deter criminals from becoming repeat offenders. There are programs that include referrals for education and rehab with follow-up conducted by probation officers. Keeping repeat felony offenders off the street was discussed. He stated there are sentencing guidelines and calculations that determine when a convicted felon is jailed and for how long.

The need to address less serious crime was brought up as an issue that does not seem to be consistent throughout the city. There was concern that those areas that also have more violent crime, ignore the less serious infractions. The initiative in New York – “broken windows” – was discussed as addressing the less serious crimes that also successfully impacted and lessened the more serious crimes.


Assistant Prosecutor, Kam Towns is the Central District Prosecutor and has been in this district for six months. She handles non-fatal shootings – community nuisance crimes, ie. serial beatings, violent crimes. Towns suggested that if someone is interested in a particular case, they should contact the DPD to determine the investigator. DPD is the actual ‘gate keeper’ for what gets to the prosecutor, and they [DPD] track the cases. Prosecutor, Kim Worthy’s budget was also addressed. There was concern that some cases were not being heard because of these budget issues. Towns stated that the department did lose 60 prosecutors, but work continues and the budget does not impact the process.


Ron Cooley stated that there are currently 65 official members of the Corktown Business Association, and CBA continues to solicit those businesses not yet members.


There was discussion about the lack of working street lights. Lt. Szilagy mentioned a new portable lighting initiative by DTE Energy that may include part of North Corktown.


For Angels’ Night, it was encouraged that everyone leave on their porch lights and any exterior lights, and look out for abandoned property. To volunteer for Angels’ Night, contact your DPD District office, call 313-224-4415 or visit


The Corktown Pumpkin Fest will be Saturday, October 26th at 4:00 p.m. at Murphy Play Lot on Brooklyn and Porter Streets.


We continue to thank and appreciate our DPD officers for their great work.


Corktown Community Safety Meeting – October 14, 2013

Page 3 of 3



Recommendations for the next meeting –

  • Lighting Department Initiative Update

  • Quicken Loan and Corktown Involvement

  • Update on WSU Crime Stat analysis

  • DPD changes – Precincts, boundaries, neighborhood initiatives

  • Crime stats

  • Scrap Metal Law Update

  • Corktown door-to-door newsletter

  • Impact of election results



Respectfully submitted,




Debra T. Walker