Skip to main content
Press Release

Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Announce One Detroit Partnership to Reduce Violent Crime in the City of Detroit

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT — Today, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison, along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Kym Worthy, Kenyatta Stephens, CEO Black Family Development,  Detroit Police Chief James E. White, Alvin Stokes, Citywide President, Detroit Citywide Police Community Relations Council,  Heidi E. Washington, Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections and Bishop Edgar Vann, Second Ebenezer Church,  announced a community partnership named “One Detroit” designed to reduce violent crime in the City through a multi-faceted program of crime prevention, services for the re-entry of returning citizens, and focused law enforcement. 

Joining in the announcement were Kenyatta Stephens, the Chief Executive Officer of Black Family Development, Inc.; Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division; Special Agent in Charge James M. Deir, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Detroit Division; Orville O. Greene, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Division; and Sheryl Jones, Director, Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and Ceasefire Detroit.

One Detroit is the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s comprehensive violence reduction initiative that links evidenced-based strategies with a coalition of stakeholders in the community, government, and law enforcement. The core of the initiative is partnership. By bringing together leaders in government, the community, and law enforcement, and aligning their work, the One Detroit partnership will work to reduce violence through engagement, coordination, and action.

The One Detroit partnership is an effort to reinvigorate and augment the Detroit One initiative by incorporating the lessons we have learned since that effort was announced 10 years ago. One Detroit, like the earlier effort, includes aggressive investigation and prosecution of the relatively small number of individuals responsible for the most violence. But the One Detroit partners recognize that violence must be prevented and not just punished. And so, the One Detroit partners will also develop and foster meaningful community relationships, promote prevention and intervention programs, and emphasize prisoner reentry programs that involve the community.

One Detroit will focus on leveraging the resources, skills, and capacities of the program’s stakeholders to reduce crime and to make our residents and city safer. 

A key aspect of this strategy is to boost efforts at crime prevention. The One Detroit prevention effort, which is led by the City of Detroit, along with community leaders such as Bishop Vann and Black Family Development, will seek to reduce crime through blight elimination, community engagement, job training, and collaboration. The partnership includes community members, faith leaders, law enforcement, and representatives from intervention/outreach organizations. Through open dialogue with these partners, we will better understand the underlying causes of violent crime in the community and collaborate to develop comprehensive solutions to address them. The partners will deter violence through open communication about law enforcement strategies with the community and with those most at risk of becoming involved in violence. And the partners will work to provide alternatives to crime to those in neighborhoods most affected by violence.    

Importantly, One Detroit will also be focused on providing opportunities and assistance to those citizens who are returning to our community from incarceration. Led by the Michigan Department of Corrections, One Detroit will work to ensure that returning citizens have the employment, job training, and support they need to fully reintegrate into society. Helping those who have served their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective means to reduce crime in Detroit and across the Eastern District of Michigan.

The third aspect of One Detroit is an enforcement strategy aimed at the most dangerous offenders in those areas of the city suffering the most from violent crime or that face the prospect of increased crime. The One Detroit partnership will work collaboratively to focus its law enforcement efforts on the relatively few individuals and groups inflicting the most violence, rather than the entire community. It will involve close coordination between federal and local law enforcement to identify emerging violent offenders or trends within particular neighborhoods. The partnership will also draw on the expertise of local officers, who have deep experience in the communities they serve. And it will pair that personalized knowledge with technology like the National Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (NIBIN), and evidence-based tools like Gunstat. By implementing this data-driven and intelligence-led approach, law enforcement will be able to focus on the small number of people perpetrating violence.   

This strategy is a part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. PSN continues to be the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. PSN is an evidence-based program that focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs to pursue lasting reductions in crime.

“One Detroit seeks to disrupt violence in our neighborhoods by focusing law enforcement resources on the drivers of violent crime, supporting community-based solutions to prevent crime, and ensuring that individuals returning from prison have sufficient supports to take full advantage of their second chances, “stated U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison.  “We need a more mindful approach to violence reduction that acknowledges that law enforcement cannot be the only solution to keeping our communities safe. Through this partnership we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who refuse to stop the violence, but we also endeavor to empower communities and provide opportunity in order to make our community and residents safer,” continued Ison.

"The most sustainable way to reduce violent crime is to get the people committing it to change their own behavior," said Mayor Duggan. "For some, being provided a pathway to an opportunity after being incarcerated may lead to that change. For others it may be the certainty of being arrested and incarcerated if they reoffend.  Effective crime reduction has to be a communitywide effort and I'm grateful to U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison for her leadership in forming this partnership between law enforcement agencies and community organizations."

“As a One Detroit partner, Black Family Development, Inc. commits to provide basic needs (food, clothing, shelter), mental health and substance use treatment, mobile health services, a young men of color support network and social-emotional counseling as prevention and re-entry supports to Detroit residents and families impacted, or at-risk of being impacted, by gun violence,” said Kenyatta Stephens stated.

“I have always known and understood that we must work collaboratively with law enforcement, community stakeholders, and faith leaders, if we want to address crime and keep our citizen’s safe. The One Detroit Initiative is important because it is taking an approach which includes intervention programs, as well as prisoner reentry programs to effectively combat crime,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

“It still takes a village,” said Alvin Stokes.

“The Detroit Police Department looks forward to being a part of the One Detroit partnership and will continue to strategically target the dangerous offenders who victimize our community and work to ensure they are held accountable for their actions,” said Detroit Police Chief James E. White. “Combining the hard work of our officers, our data-driven technology-aided approach and this partnership will assist us in our mission to make Detroit a safer place.”

“We are proud to share our expertise and the time and talents of our agents as partners in this type of focused and targeted action on those perpetrating violence in Detroit,” said Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. “We are also focused on our efforts to provide reentry resources, education and training so individuals have a way to support themselves and their families, rather than feel the need to resort back to a life of crime so we can create true long-term public safety in this great city.”

“One Detroit is a powerful collaboration of government, the US Attorney’s Office, branches of law enforcement agencies, community activists and stakeholders, and the latest cutting-edge technology. But let this initiative also send a strong message to "heads and hearts" throughout this city and region as this becomes a movement. Think before you act. Inhumanity has consequences. "Stop the violence. Increase the peace,” said Bishop Edgar Vann.

“ATF’s core priority is to protect our communities from violent criminal acts,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge James Deir, “We are proud to participate in One Detroit a collaborative crime-abatement initiative between our federal, state, and local partners.”

“Law enforcement and community partners are working together to combat crime in the most violent areas of Detroit,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “The FBI contributes to that effort by not only targeting those who commit armed robberies of businesses, along with the leadership of gangs and criminal enterprises, but also by engaging with schools, youth groups, and community groups. By doing so, we are working collaboratively to ensure our neighborhoods are safer places for everyone to live and work.”

“The enforcement aspect of One Detroit is focused on the few bad actors who are causing the most harm, and often these individuals are drug traffickers who use violence and intimidation to broaden their markets. DEA will work with federal, state, and local partners to pursue the worst offenders and make metro-Detroit a safer community,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene.

Updated April 19, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods