The Detroit Crime Commission, a nonprofit organization that was put together less than a year ago, is coming together to reportedly assist law enforcement, without having the same power as the police. According to the Free Press, the Commission, headed by former FBI agent Ron Reddy and former Michigan State Police inspector Ellis Stafford, is there to assist, to do things that the police might not be able to, whether due to lack of funding or otherwise.
New director and former Detroit FBI bureau chief Andrew Arena says he commission’s goal is to “identify the gaps in law enforcement where our funding and ability can make a difference.”
Recently that meant finding alternative housing for a witness and his family who feared for their lives while working with police in a murder case.
“We had a fearful witness, and we were even more fearful for them,” said Prosecutor Kym Worthy. “We’re here at 12 midnight and realize we can’t send them home. It took one phone call to the Crime Commission, and we were able to get the witness and family to a safe place.”
The commission plans on using lawsuits and public awareness rather than arrests. They will use the civil courts as opposed to the criminal courts, and will pass criminal matters on to the DPD where appropriate.
The Free Press says the commission’s first targets are multiple: “identifying criminal enterprises, bringing lawsuits aimed at forcing the cleanup of specific nuisance houses and buildings in viable neighborhoods and exposing large-scale slumlords — issues that regularly affect the quality of life for city residents.”
They will look for ways to give a voice to concerned citizens and residents, hoping to clean up problem areas and prevent crime while making people feel safer in their own communities.
Of course, those in charge of the commission plan to use their law enforcement experience to do some investigating as well. Because they don’t have the restrictions that the local cops do, and they can focus more energy in singular areas without getting called away due to staffing issues, they hope to help cover areas the police can’t.
The commission cannot make arrests, but they can provide information to the police or call on the police to make arrests.
If you are charged with a crime, whether you’re caught in an area that’s under the spotlight of the crime commission or if you were pulled over with drugs on you, we may be able to help.
Our attorneys have represented people in the Detroit area charged with everything from cocaine distribution to assault, and more. Contact our offices today to discuss the details of your case and your legal options.