Justice Advocates: The Detroit 300

by on January 19th, 2011
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Over a year’s span of time, residents of Detroit have been plagued by the uprising death tolls of infants and small children. Innocent victims of numerous violent crimes have been the forefront of local Detroit news and media, with no visible solutions to the growing problem.

Despite this challenge Detroiters are faced, a group of people are stepping forward to take on the label of “Justice Advocates.” Community group Detroit 300 rallied and made a promise to Detroiters “something will be done to decrease the violence against infants …”

The Detroit 300 has been credited for assisting law officials in tracking down criminal suspects in the metro Detroit area. A growing movement with a motto, “Taking Back Our Streets One Neighborhood at a Time,” The Detroit 300, made up of citizens, civic groups, organizations, and businesses that are banded together, fight and deter crime in residential areas of metro Detroit. Its sole focus is to help communities organize to eradicate crime by policing targeted areas and collectively pursuing individuals who wreak havoc, mayhem, and terror [in Detroit], such crimes being, but not limited to murder, shootings, rape, burglary, robbery, assault & battery, burning of dwellings and stripping of homes.

Born out of the Detroit community’s frustration with perpetual neighborhood crimes, banded members of The Detroit 300 do not receive a paycheck like law officials of Detroit, but are putting in more manpower hours. Titled The Detroit 300 from an initial goal to enlist 300 Detroit male residents to rotate shifts in areas of crime, until suspects are apprehended. Founding leader activist Raphael B. Johnson states, “We are a body of unafraid men that have made the individual and collective decision to stand up against these once unthinkable crimes being committed …”

Knowing community groups like The Detroit 300 are on the clock – without pay, gives the residents of Detroit some sense of safety in knowing justice is being done.

Recently, due to budget cutbacks, the Detroit Police Department was forced to make drastic changes to the services provided to the residents. Local police stations around Detroit shortened office hours, resulting in residents not having an actual police officer available at a station. Officials reported the “change” would allow more patrolling officers on the streets of Detroit. But, also affected by budget cutbacks, the DPD released a number of its officers, leaving not many to actually patrol the streets of Detroit, which is ranked in the top ten most dangerous U.S. cities.

On top of ranking as a most dangerous city, Detroit and its residents have fallen on very hard economical times. Loss of jobs and rising economy have played a major contributing factor to Detroit’s crime rate.

During a time of personal losses, struggles and issues within metro Detroit, one would assume people are too focused on their “own” problems while crime is steadily rising around them. It could be possible, but not for The Detroit 300. A movement built on the love for the city of Detroit, and motivated by Detroit’s comeuppance, the unsung community group is as a beacon of light for residents on the dark streets of Detroit.

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