DETROIT (WXYZ) - Hundreds of residents gathered at the University of Detroit Mercy for the Detroit Neighborhood Police Officer’s conference where officers spoke with them about fighting blight.
There Detroit police worked to teach residents how to do the footwork to clean up their neighborhoods.
Six months ago, DPD launched the neighborhood officer policing program. The program teams residents with officers to tackle concerns and safety issues.
Seventy-nine-year-old Bill Welborne says the police and city leaders can’t clean up the city alone.
“If we got cars in the back yard we learned how to get rid of those,” he says.
The NPO program is designed to bridge the gap between the police department and citizens.
The program is new to Detroit. Chief James Craig says the citizens play an important role in the success of the program
“When I got here a year ago, we had a very embarrassing clearance rate to homicide investigations - something like 11 percent,” Craig says. “Now we are sitting at the high 80s to 90s in clearance case in homicides and the reason why, it’s no secret, because of our relationship with the community.
Residents like Welborne are excited about building meaningful relationships with officers.
“Anything that can help me help the citizens in my neighborhood is important,” he says.
Chief Craig says that this program is far from over and he is encouraging everyone to get involved In Detroit.