Detroit expanding Shotstopper program to decrease gun violence

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 28, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — After marking major success, the city of Detroit is working to expand its Shotstopper program. 

VIDEO: Detroit mayor announces plans to expand Shotstopper program

Detroit mayor announces plans to expand Shotstopper program

The program, which was launched one year ago, financially backs and empowers grassroots community organizations to intervene in conflict before it becomes violent. The groups target at-risk youth likely to engage in gun violence.

RELATED STORY: Community groups mark success of Detroit's ShotStopper program in neighborhoods

Shotstopper success in Detroit

In the year since the program launched, the city says they’ve seen violent crime reductions of 30-70% in the neighborhoods where the programs are deployed. Based on the results, several of the community groups were awarded performance bonuses totaling $175,000 to $350,000.

Friday, Mayor Mike Duggan held a press conference asking more community organizations to apply to be a part of the program.

“What we have learned is that the fastest way to bring down gun violence is to do two things at once: have an outstanding police department and law enforcement strategy and have an outstanding community violence intervention strategy where those groups who have the strongest relationships in the neighborhoods are given the resources to prevent the violence,” said Duggan.

mike duggan shotstopper
Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at a press conference about the expansion of crime prevention program Shotstopper (June 2024)

Last year, the program was funded through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. Pending Senate approval this fall, money appropriated through a new Public Safety Trust Fund would support the program and its expansion.

Michael Rogers is with Detroit Friends and Family, one of the community organizations assigned to the five neighborhoods where the program is currently deployed.

"Our day-to-day is kind of unorthodox. We go to the schools, speak with the children. We’re in the neighborhoods preaching peace telling people about peace," said Michael Rogers.

michael rogers shotstopper

The city says they're hoping to add at least two more neighborhoods to the Shotstopper program.

"I feel extremely happy and elated that the community is leading the effort that has been successful," said Dujuan "Zoe" Kennedy with Force Detroit.

force detroit shotstopper

Force is another community organization in the Shotstopper program. Kennedy says permanent funding for programs like this one will be critical to seeing more crime reduction in the years to come.

"On average a homicide costs the taxpayer $1.6 million, a non-fatal shooting costs $1.1 million. It’s ethical and economically responsible to invest in this permanently," said Kennedy. "We talk about outcomes. How much has been invested in cancer research? It hasn’t been cured yet but it has been some progress made, correct? Invest in life."

Cornelius Pettiford lives on the city's west side in an area currently not covered by the program. He says he’d love to see the program expanded city-wide. 

cornelius pettiford shotstopper

"Things happen everywhere from Bloomfield, Farmington, every where. One thing I can say about the people in this neighborhood, we all get along. We all try to take care of each other," said Pettiford. "Still a lot (police) got to clean up. It’s a lot going on still. Any murder is too much."

Groups will have until August to submit their bid to the city to be a part of the program. The city says they hope to officially have the additional violence intervention teams on the streets by October.

More information on how to apply can be found on the city website.