Visiting Detroit without reason has to rank up there on the scale of hiking in the mountains along the Iran/Iraq border or proselytizing the faith in Pakistan or vacationing in Mali. You could do it but you have to accept that it's a damned risky thing to do without a purpose. You know, if you were in the CIA. It is pretty telling when a story making the rounds only a week earlier comes from the Chief of the Detroit Police who announced that he was very nearly carjacked two weeks ago while driving down the mean streets of Detroit. He is a retired policeman so he is allowed to carry a gun anywhere he wants in perpetuity unlike our Canadian and most Somali visitors. One of his predecessors resigned after trying to carry a loaded gun onto an aircraft in 2003.
Here is Chief Craig on carjackings in his fair city,
"This is the one crime that really drives fear in the community," he said in August while announcing the HeatWave programmed aimed at reducing carjackings and auto theft.
Sgt. Vernal Newson of the Auto Theft and Carjacking Task Force said thieves frequently spot a vehicle they like and follow the motorist to their home or destination before committing the crime."
You know what the Chief's very first concern was after taking the job as Chief and returning to his own hometown? It's here.
"One thing that I've been critical of, as it relates to... the way the good people in Detroit drive, some of them just blatantly run red traffic signals," Craig said in late-July. "And I don't know if they just have total disregard for traffic laws or they're afraid of being carjacked."What do you think now Chief? A little of both?
Detroit was the first major industrial city I'd ever lived in when I moved there in 1985. I was starting my civilian career at the time and geo-batching it while the missus tied things up down in Oklahoma. The first month I was in Detroit I was all over the city... and I mean ALL over, everywhere. One Monday morning some co-workers and I were shooting the breeze and one asked "How are you filling your time?" So I told 'em, mentioning a few places I'd been, including bars and such. The group fell silent and one of the guys pulled his shirt out of his pants, raised it and showed me a horrible scar on his belly. "That bar you mentioned? That's where I got shot."ReplyDelete
So, my new-found friends' advice was to stay north of Eight Mile... which I took to heart. And that was in 1985. It damned sure ain't any better today.
It's funny. I left Detroit for the last time in 1984 and never really went back. Two weeks ago we drove up to Ann Arbor for a day and a night to see some things in Ann Arbor. I had no desire at all to see anything of Detroit or even what Selfridge ANGB has morphed into. After I left Selfridge, right around 1985, I hear the rentacops at the gate shot a dependent son as he drove through the gate without stopping.Delete