DPD steps up fight against gangs

Detroit (WXYZ) - As the Motor City put on its best face Monday night for the fireworks, police did their best to keep out a small minority, waiting to disrupt things.

With over 100 gangs and about 2,500 known gang members operating in Detroit, not to mention their followers, DPD has an elite division of officers, who’s purpose is to gather gang intelligence.

“There are officers who have been on the street in nearly every capacity, from undercover work to narcotics,” says Sgt. Michael Woody.

He says it’s hard to say if real progress has been made in the fight against Detroit gangs, since they are tough to track. But he says the new police chief has implemented changes that are felt.

Andy Arena, with the Detroit Crime Commission, echoes that, saying, “They morph. They are here one day, here another day,” explaining how they move from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Arena says gang cells are centered in the city’s longtime troubled neighborhoods, like the east side.

When The Investigators visited Tuesday, residents said---it was a small number of bad apples causing the problems.

One man telling us, “I do a lot of good things in my life. I ain’t tryin’ to go to no jail.”

Another man said DPD was doing, “Their job real well lately.”

When asked why her neighborhood was plagued with gang violence, a woman said, “Ignorance. If you haven’t been raised the right way, how can you grow up in society the right way?”

She had a message for the would-be gang members in her neighborhood.

“Go do something productive. You don’t have to be violent. You don’t have to be angry.”

Sources tell The Investigators, the city is planning a major new push against gangs in the coming weeks. The details are not being discussed by police, as not to tip off the bad guys.

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