Stowe Boyd: Detroit police’s average response time to calls for the highest-priority crimes this year was 58 minutes pllqt.it/pYpbxd
A question unimaginable in most major American cities is utterly commonplace in this one: If you suddenly found yourself gravely ill, injured or even shot, would you call 911? if (typeof NYTDVideoManager != "undefined") { NYTDVideoManager.setAllowMultiPlayback(false); } function displayCompanionBanners(banners, tracking) { tmDisplayBanner(banners, "videoAdContent", 300, 250, null, tracking); } Multimedia Slide Show Cutting Back in Detroit Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @NYTNational for breaking news and headlines. Twitter List: Reporters and Editors Enlarge This Image Carlos Osorio/Associated Press A visitor to the Detroit Institute of Arts, whose collections are in danger of being sold. More Photos » Many people here say the answer is no. Some laugh at the odds of an ambulance appearing promptly, if ever. In Detroit, people map out alternative plans instead, enlisting a relative or a friend. As officials negotiate urgently with creditors and unions in a last-ditch effort to spare Detroit from plunging into the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, residents say the city has worse problems than its estimated $18 billion debt. “The city is past being a city now; it’s gone,” said Kendrick Benguche, whose family lives on a block with a single streetlight, just down from a vacant firehouse that sits beside a burned-out home. The Detroit police’s average response time to calls for the highest-priority crimes this year was 58 minutes, officials now overseeing the city say. The department’s recent rate of solving cases was 8.7 percent, far lower, the officials acknowledge, than clearance rates in cities like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and St. Louis. “I guess I’ll be glad if someone else takes over and other people run this thing,” Mr. Benguche said. “The way I look at it, the city is already bankrupt.”
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