Community team wants to protect women, elderly at Detroit gas stations

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A group of good guys will spend this holiday season trying to keep the other good people of Detroit safe. The Detroit 300 community action team is rolling out Operation Safe Gas.

"We have to step up as men. When real men step up, little boys sit down," said Eric Ford of Detroit 300.

Stand up and keep a look out. Those are the marching orders from Detroit 300 to good men in the city this holiday season.

Ford, who heads up the group, put the word out on Facebook, urging men to look after women and the elderly as they fill up at gas stations. The post caught fire online.

"That message got 4,000 shares and 1,500 people liked that message," Ford said.

And it's one that needs to be put into action. Detroit gas stations can be hotbeds for robberies, killings and carjackings.

It's a statement that those who live in, work or have real ties to the city have heard countless times: Don't get gas in Detroit.

"Me and my friend were just talking about that, how [there is] a lot of stuff going on at different gas stations and people are robbing people when you're out at night," said Sabrina Simmons.

"That's something you can't get used to either," said Martin Jones, Detroit 300. "I don't want to get used to it. I can't look at the news and say, 'What a shame.' Too many people are doing that themselves and not enough are getting involved."

When women and seniors walk up you just got to sit at the gas station for an extra five minutes to make sure they get in their car and get home safe," Jones said. "That's what we're asking."

"If that one good witness can be there, it can even stop a crime from happening," Jones said. "And that's what the goal is. the goal is not to necessarily catch a perpetrator; the goal is to stop a crime from happening to begin with."

Detroit 300 has been at it for years with its Operation Safe Gas campaign. And as 2018 comes to a close they're hoping more men follow suit. 

The Detroit 300 Community Action Team says this is not limited to gas stations, but this is something you should do at stores, shopping centers wherever you are keep an eye out for your fellow man to make this city a little safer.