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Law enforcement discuss crime reduction at roundtable meeting

Law enforcement discuss crime reduction at roundtable meeting
Law enforcement discuss crime reduction at roundtable meeting 02:33
Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

(CBS DETROIT) – Law enforcement and community leaders gathered for a roundtable discussion focused on reducing crime. 

Police are good at making arrests, but the purpose of the meeting was to determine what they can do so they don't have to make an arrest in the first place.

"You deserve peace in your neighborhood. But what are you going to do about it?" Dawn Ison, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said

It was a call to action for the community from law enforcement who came to Detroit Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon to brainstorm how they can be intentional with their ongoing partnerships to reduce crime in the metro. 

"We remove those bad actors. We're getting better at doing it, where we're now focusing on those drivers of violent crime and not just everyone who's being a nuisance.. But what we're trying to do is what we're good at, is creating that environment for folks like yourselves," Orville Greene, Special Agent In Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said.

But they face an uphill battle. 

"We can't police a community without some type of agreement for the community to be policed. If the community decides, 'we don't want to be policed by you because we don't trust you. We don't like you.' It's not going to happen," Detroit Police Chief James White said.

So this is their reality. 

"Over and over you go into communities, and that's what you hear: 'the police don't show up until somebody's dead,'" Chui Karega, an attorney, said.

"Even with the people who are inclined to be accountable. We have to be transparent and legitimate in those communities. And these police incidents that happen, the way we start rebuilding this trust, is by calling out that stuff that's wrong," Inson said.

Their hope is the community will open up to them and bring some justice to families of crime victims like Shahita McNeal.

Somebody dumped her dead baby brother, Glenn Roy McNeal, at a Detroit hospital days before Thanksgiving. 

"I just hope and pray that things get done, and we get the help that we need in the city to slow these crimes down," Shahita McNeal told CBS Detroit. 

"The unique thing we can provide is the idea of focusing on those drivers of violence in the community, the very small amount of people who are exacting a lot of violence that need to be held accountable by the community," Ronald Davis, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. 

But there's the understanding among law enforcement that they can't arrest their way out of this problem. So there are plans underway to help those who are involved in a criminal lifestyle get jobs or go to school so they can leave that lifestyle behind. 

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