New Detroit Shot-Stopper program pays $700K to community leaders who reduce violence

Last night during the State of the City Address, the call went out looking for "Shot Stoppers"

The city is willing to pay up to $700,000 a year if you can cut down on violent shootings in the community before they happen. So we wanted to know what can be done with that money.

For years Detroit activists have been fighting crime their own way - pounding the pavement in an effort to save lives.

"Some of us have been working together for decades, brother Malik and I have been out here since the 80s," said Detroit activist Teferi Brent.

"We‘ll go into areas the police want us to go.. but we hear things they don't hear," said Malik Shabaz, Detroit activist.

Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison says the city is well aware.

"Many of the groups are volunteering working right now, or they are getting dollars from raising their own funds, or they are getting philanthropic dollars," said Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison. "Getting money from raising their own funds or philanthropic dollars."

And the city says it is time to financially back this effort.

"It’s a long time coming and could be a good thing if the money is dealt with appropriately," said Shabaz.

"The White House, the Biden Administration, supports it," Bettison said. "They've sent money down to the states and cities."

The city is accepting proposals. Three to five will be selected as shot stoppers, each receiving $700,000 a year to prevent a shooting before it happens.  

Malik Shabaz says he will submit a bid.

"One, we need a building," he said.

And he says he has plans to expand the current operation.

"Hire like 20 people, set up a street patrol."

Teferi Brent was instrumental in creating the new Shot-Stopper program.

"Those of us who have been doing this work and who are on the frontline and in the trenches doing this work, we are public health workers," he said. "And if we are public health workers we need to be treated like first responders and we should be compensated so we can do this work around the clock."

If you are awarded the $700,000 the city will give you two years to reduce gun violence in your section of Detroit.

"There are hot spots that just don’t move," Bettison said. "If they reduce shootings, below the city trend, they can actually get double their base."

In total the city has $10 million federal dollars to administer for this program. People or organizations have until April 10th to apply.