We’re Safe at the El Moore: The Wayne State Police Force

Although there are (finally) some good news stories circulating in the national press about Detroit and the more positive things that are happening here in Midtown where the El Moore is located, the image of  Detroit as a dangerous city where folks get murdered all the time,  people get robbed all the time, and cars get stolen all the time, persists. It takes more than a year or two to shake off the kind of harsh reputation that Detroit has earned, some of us would argue unfairly.

That be as it may, we readily confess that Detroit can be a tough town. It is a big, sprawling urban city and things do happen in big, urban cities. So for those who may be considering a move – or a visit – to the El Moore, but who require assurances that all will be well and that living in Detroit is now no different than living on a country estate? Yes, well, we wish you all the best but this may not be quite the place for you. Detroit is a big city with big city problems that accompany its many big city advantages and attractions, and that needs to be understood.

But are you likely to be robbed, beaten to the ground, then left for dead each and every day you stay here? Ummm…no. As a matter of fact, the likelihood of this sort of thing happening to you at all, particularly in the Midtown area where the El Moore stands, is very remote indeed. This level of safety is due in  large part to the vigilance of the Wayne State University Police Department, which is  known – and greatly appreciated – for its rapid response times and overall professionalism. Please note, this is not to be confused with the sort of policing favored by some requiring the harsh treatment of certain groups for no known reason. This is community policing, and the results would indicate that this is community policing that actually works. Which would explain why their efforts have even drawn the attention of The New York Times.

“This is no ordinary campus police squad. The department, which spends most of its time operating beyond the university, has invested in high-tech security equipment that looks as if it came straight from the set of “C.S.I.” Since most small businesses operate on razor-thin margins and cannot afford the financial toll of even petty crime, the force has been one of the area’s biggest assets, residents and owners say.

“All of Wayne State’s officers are commissioned by the Detroit Police Department, with the same enforcement powers as the city’s force. The department’s hiring standards, though, are stricter: Wayne State requires its officers to have a bachelor’s degree, while city officers need only a high school diploma. The two departments collaborate closely, and of the 1,362 arrests made in Midtown last year, 61 percent were made by Wayne State’s officers.

“For years, calling 911 in Detroit has been a gamble. The average response time to the highest-priority calls stretched sometimes to nearly an hour. Wayne State’s department promises a 90-second response to calls within its territory.”

Good things do actually happen in Detroit. Honest.

 

 

About Keith Owens

Keith Owens is a freelance writer, columnist, blogger and musician whose most recent work has been featured in Model D Detroit, BLAC Detroit, and the national political affairs blog PoliticusUSA. He has also published three novels through Detroit Ink Publishing (www.detroitinkpublishing.com), the eBook publishing company he co-founded with his wife, Pamela Hilliard Owens. Keith and Pam live in a 100-year-old home in the Historic Boston-Edison District a few miles north of the El Moore.

El Moore