June 1, 2015

Detroit One Partnership Announces Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence

The Detroit One violence reduction partnership today announced an initiative to reduce gun violence in Detroit. The initiative includes enforcement and public awareness about the serious federal penalties that face violent felons who possess firearms.

Joining in the announcement were United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Detroit Police Chief James Craig and John Broad, President, Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are focusing on prosecution of the illegal possession of guns by felons with violent criminal convictions. Felons with one prior violent crime conviction who possess a gun in Detroit will face federal prosecution. An offender with three prior violent felony convictions who merely possesses a gun faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. An offender who uses a gun during a violent crime faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, and an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for a second offense.

The public awareness campaign is designed to deter possession of illegal guns by violent felons by raising awareness of the significant federal penalties for firearms offenses. The campaign’s message, “You Do The Math: Felon + Gun = Long Federal Sentences” will be communicated on billboards and in a public service announcement for broadcast media. The billboards are located on E. I-94 Freeway and Conner and the Southfield Freeway and Grand River.

Last year, the Detroit One partnership tackled carjacking in Detroit with a similar enforcement and deterrence strategy. Carjacking fell by 32 percent last year.

During the past three years, fatal and non-fatal shootings have ranged between 1,400 and 1,600 per year. Violent crimes often increase during warmer weather, so this campaign is designed to coincide with the approaching summer months.

“We hope that if violent felons are aware of the very serious penalties for carrying a gun, then they will be less likely to carry one,” McQuade said, “If violent felons do carry guns, we are prepared to back up our warnings with federal prosecution.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan stated, “This kind of partnership among all of our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies is something people are going to start seeing a lot more of in Detroit. When we are operating under a single, unified strategy and engaging our community partners more effectively, we will see a reduction in gun violence, just as we have seen reductions in every other major category or crime over the past two years.”

Wayne County Prosecutor Worthy stated, “We must continue to think of innovative ways to address the problem of gun violence. The Detroit One Initiative does just that. Our work together will allow us to be more effective in reducing the gun violence that plagues our community.”

“Strong, collaborative relationships with the common goal of making our city safer will continue to reduce violent crime,” said Detroit Police Chief James E. Craig. “This has been a very effective crime-abatement strategy here in Detroit and in other cities around the country.”

“Crime Stoppers is pleased to be a partner in the Detroit One violence reduction initiative,” stated John Broad, President. “We encourage those who witness a crime to call their local police department or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SpeakUp.”

Participating agencies in the Detroit One initiative include the Detroit Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service, Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

To view the PSA, please visit our website at http://www.justice.gov/usao/mie/index.html or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/7Nqbi6iUk1Q.