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Detroit Mayor Duggan talks NFL Draft, crime rate, building improvements in State of the City Address

Detroit mayor looks to future in 2024 State of the City Address
Detroit mayor looks to future in 2024 State of the City Address 03:27

(CBS DETROIT) - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave his 11th State of the City Address Wednesday night. In his speech at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Detroit, he discussed how much Detroit has changed over the past ten years.

He said the city has changed, and millions of people will get to see it during next week's NFL Draft.

"We've got a chance to introduce ourselves again to America, and when we do, we hope to be just like the Lions and introduce America to a very different Detroit than they expected," said the mayor.

He also spoke about the improvements that have been made to Detroit's buildings, economy, and crime rate, especially the city's reduction in carjackings. 

"If you're going to stick a gun in somebody's face in this city and take their car, we're coming after you like an episode of "24." That's what's going to happen."

He said they are taking it a step further, and next month, they will be installing a camera network across Detroit's freeways.

Duggan said crime has been reduced in the city through strong law enforcement along with community intervention, like the city's six-month-old ShotSpotter program. 

"The four groups that emphasized personal interaction, their shootings in their areas went down 44%."

Duggan announced that after 10 years of work, the "Detroit Promise" program is guaranteeing free college tuition to children of families forever. For students who live in the city and graduated from a Detroit high school, the city will pay for four years of tuition with money raised through a decade of annual tax capture.

"This year, for scholarships for Detroit children, it went up to $6.3 million. By 2027 it will be $10 million. I'm telling you this is unless they change the state law, this scholarship fund is for our children forever. It's going to be there."

Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield said we need to make sure schools, students, and families take advantage of this opportunity. 

"Every Detroiter that graduates from any high school in Detroit can go to college for free. That is major," she said.

Duggan said while major improvements have been made, there is still work to do.

"[The year] 2024 will be the year we finally rid Detroit of the abandoned and the illegal vehicles."

The city has increased parking officers to patrol public areas, and the Detroit Police Department now has more code enforcement officers to police abandoned cars on private property. Residents can report any abandoned or illegal vehicles through the "Improve Detroit" app.

The mayor also spoke about honoring black history and black communities in Detroit, including an underground railroad memorial at a site known as Freedom Point. As well as the restoration of the Brewster Rec Center. It's a place where Dianna Ross used to go and where Joe Louis trained. The building will be restored, including the actual ring that Louis trained in. 

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