Crime wave brings community together

Periodically, Hamtramck experiences a crime wave of sorts.

At the last City Council meeting, councilmembers complained about a rash of street muggings and young men and teens hanging out at various “hotspots” in the city and getting into fights.

There has also been reported drug dealing in the neighborhoods.

One so-called hotspot happens to be across the street from Councilmember Catrina Stackpoole’s house. She complained that sometimes officers will drive by the large gathering of youths and not do a thing about it.

Well, it’s true that just because youths are gathering together, that’s not really a crime. But let’s be real. Large gatherings like that often erupt into fights and the playing of music at loud volumes.

We checked this situation out after the council meeting at 10 p.m. and sure enough, there was a large gathering of young men and open drug dealing.

City Manager Bill Cooper said he was aware of the problem and was meeting with the police chief to draw up a strategy in dealing with the problem. On Tuesday, we talked to Chief Mark Kalinowski, who said he could not provide details of how the department is going to handle the matter, but he promised something was going to happen real fast.

Well, on Wednesday, a team of officers and detectives swung into action and took a “zero tolerance” approach. The result was swift and comprehensive. Some 13 adults were arrested for a variety of crimes and ordinance violations and five juveniles were caught skipping school, which is a curfew violation.

The parents of the kids were also ticketed under the city’s relatively new parent responsibility law.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the police action is it was performed mostly on straight time with little overtime.

We are a small city, and when obvious flare-ups start happening, we need to respond to it in a timely manner.

Wednesday’s police action is proof that we can work out our problems in an orderly and cost-efficient manner.

Our Police Department certainly deserves a round of applause for an outstanding job.

Also encouraging is a newly launched citizens patrol formed by the Weed and Seed organization. That means more eyes and ears will be on the road to assist the Police Department in keeping criminal activity at a minimum.

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