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Detroit working to fight crime with federal help

Posted at 5:12 PM, Sep 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-28 17:12:24-04
Detroit is hosting a summit focused on fighting violent crime in some of the most dangerous parts of the country.
 
The U.S. Department of Justice Violence Reduction Network Summit is happening September 28-30 at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.
 
The Violence Reduction Network is comprised of 10 cities:  Detroit, MI, Camden, NJ, Chicago, IL, Oakland/Richmond, CA, Wilmington, DE and this year they’ve added Flint, MI, Compton, CA, Little Rock, AR, West Memphis, AR and Newark, NJ.  
 
The cities all experience crime above the national average and have applied to be a part of the VRN.
 
"This a very focused effort from the Department of Justice that partners with our state and local counterparts to determine the local needs of individual communities,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
 
Yates said after those needs are determined, the Department of Justice helps provide the resources to fix them with the help of federal grants.
 
Detroit Police have received about $10 million in federal grants to help with everything from the backlog of sex assault kits, to hiring more officers to outfitting the department with body cameras. 
 
"When we talk about body cameras enhancing transparency, these things matter, getting grants that will help us in building a bridge in our community,” said DPD Chief, James Craig.
 
Craig said the VRN is one more tool to help his officers fight crime.
 
"It's no secret that the people in the city of Detroit, the community, the confidence level has increased and they talk to this police department and as a result we are solving crimes,” said Craig.