POLL: Hiring more officers, tearing down blight top priorities for Detroiters

(WXYZ) - About $400 million in federal and private money will be coming to Detroit to help address the city's most pressing problems.  Detroiters have their wish list of how those funds should be spent. 

In an exclusive WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press survey 400 likely Detroit voters said hiring more police officers should be the #1 priority. 

  • 43% believe it would be the best way to improve police emergency response time and make Detroit a safer city. 
  • Tearing down abandoned homes and buildings came in second at 28 %
  • "Getting all street lights working properly" came in at 21 %
  • Only 3% were undecided.  One desire among Detroit residents was perfectly clear, they want new funds making their way to the Motor City to be invested in the neighborhoods. 
  • A whopping 93% of our respondents declared those areas as their top choice. 
  • A tie of 3% each said any new money should go to downtown and midtown. 
  • Just 1 % weren't sure what should be done with the funds.  

Our exclusive poll also revealed the depth to which Detroiters object to Governor Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr imposing their will on Michigan's largest city.

  • More than half of those polled, 59%, oppose Orr's appointment
  • Compared to 26% who welcome his presence 
  • 15% aren't sure how they feel about him. 

Three-fifths of Detroit residents telephoned by the Lansing-based EPIC MRA polling firm believe Detroit's $18 billion debt load could have been resolved without declaring bankruptcy.  One-fourth think the Chapter 9 filing was the right way to go. 

But Detroiters are almost evenly divided on what they think will be the condition of their city when Orr's job is done:

  • 35% say the city will be in the same condition
  • 32% believe it will have improved
  • 15% say it will be worse and 18 percent don't have an opinion on this question

Veteran Channel 7 pollster Bernie Porn said, "Detroiters are very clear on what kind of job rating they would give Governor Snyder and Emergency Manager Orr so far. 

  • 73% give Snyder their thumbs down
  • 68% give Orr a poor performance rating saying "There is certainly room for improvement!"

Our exclusive WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press poll was conducted October 24 – 26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.  Twenty percent of the survey takers responded via their cell phones.


As you may know, the federal government and private investors will make about $400 million dollars available to address the needs of the City of Detroit. Some of the federal funding will be earmarked for specific purposes, but much of that new money can be used to address any number of the city's needs.

Of the following list of specific city services that are needed, which one would be your first choice to use increased new funding to provide? From the same list of services, what would be your second choice? What would be your third choice?

8. In addition to deciding which services should be funded more than others, what is your first choice in terms of where any new funding should be spend – in the downtown area, midtown area, or the neighborhoods?

  3%     Downtown area

  3%     Midtown area

93%     Neighborhoods

  1%     Undecided/Refused

On another topic…

9. Do you favor or oppose the decision by Governor Snyder to appoint Kevyn Orr to serve as emergency manager with the authority to manage Detroit finances for up to 18 months, or until the city budget is balanced? Would that be strongly or somewhat?

14%     Strongly favor

12%     Somewhat favor



  8%     Somewhat oppose

51%     Strongly oppose

15%        Undecided/Refused

10. Do you think it was necessary for Kevyn Orr, the Emergency Manager, to begin bankruptcy proceedings to resolve the financial crisis in the City of Detroit, or, do you think the Detroit financial crisis could be resolved without declaring bankruptcy?

24%     Bankruptcy was necessary to resolve financial crisis

60%     Financial crisis could be resolved without declaring bankruptcy

16%     Undecided/Refused

11. When the emergency manager has completed his job in another year, do you think his actions will result in an improvement in city services, will his actions make city services worse, or, will they remain the same?

32%     Improve city services

15%     Make city services worse

35%     Stay the same

18%     Undecided/Refused

16. Overall, how would you rate the job that Rick Snyder has done as Governor -- would you give him a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?

2%     Excellent

21%   Pretty Good



35%     Just Fair

38%     Poor

4%      Undecided/Refused

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