Detroit officials talk summer safety plan after downtown shootings last weekend
DETROIT (FOX 2) - One of the big questions is what people can do to ensure the safety of those visiting and working in downtown when there are a number of big events coming in the next few months.
Between now and the end of summer, downtown will host the Grand Prix, the annual fireworks show, and the North American International Auto Show, which will attract thousands of visitors.
But if the gun violence from this weekend is any indication, safety may be a challenge for a city working on its comeback story.
Resident Haylee Young says she feels comfortable living downtown.
"I think if everyone just behaved in a respectful manner," she said. "I think everyone is excited to be outside, I think this is the first summer where Covid is less of a concern. I think that’s playing a big part."
On Monday, Detroit’s police chief and mayor discussed ways to keep the peace.
"We’re not unlike any other major city that’s experiencing some upticks and some unique situations," said Detroit Police Chief James White. "And we’re in front of that. We’ve got a very detailed strategy, without giving it away. And I’m confident Detroit will continue to be a welcoming downtown area."
Related: Detroit's violent weekend: several dead, dozens hurt in shootings across city
"I’m encouraged by the fact that we’re going to go to the summer deployment starting in April," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "We’re going to continue to adjust strategies as we go, we’ll get the communities' help. I’m optimistic we’ll have a good summer."
Mayor Mike Duggan referenced the Summer Deployment Program, which consists cameras placed in various locations and an increased officer presence, similar to what we saw in downtown during the weekend.
The plan is designed for both visitors and small business owners like Mike Piziali.
"Things have been good foot-traffic wise," said Piziali, who owns a food truck. "There’s been a lot of people coming out. it’s just good to get back out."