Kym Worthy: Public-Private Partnerships Changing Lives for Sexual Assault Victims

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy took the Sound Board stage during a session sponsored by Comcast Business to talk about the 11,341 untested sexual assault kits that were discovered in a Detroit Police Department property storage facility in 2009.

Worthy and her office worked relentlessly to ensure these victims became a priority and received justice. Not long after the discovery, federal grants and donations from Detroit businesses poured in to support these efforts. The first-ever public-private partnership of its kind was formed around the goal to ensure every kit found was tested and every case investigated.

33053869062_2ab2220d55_o (1)“If you think about each one of those rape kits having a victim attached, we know that The Big House at the University of Michigan holds 100,000 people and the number of estimated rape kits, which I think is conservative, across this country can fill up that stadium four times. That visual can help you understand what a huge problem this has been,” Worthy explained.

From a partnership with the Michigan’s Women’s Foundation to the philanthropic and business communities coming together on the steps of Grand Hotel at the Mackinac Policy Conference to form the “Enough Said” campaign, the issue garnered support from both state and national organizations.


MORE: Read more about the innovative work that is being done to ensure Detroit’s comeback continues. 


Working with Gov. Rick Snyder, the Sexual Assault for Michigan Act was passed in 2014, which gives each kit a timeframe for testing. In turn, Detroit and the way the rape kits are handled has become a national model.

In addition, a partnership with UPS and Quicken Loans was formed to create a tracking system that helps track each kit from location to location. Michigan is now working to develop a first-of-its-kind statewide tracking system.

To date, the following progress has been made:

  • 334 cases have been investigated
  • 1,042 are awaiting investigation
  • 78 convictions have been made
  • 784 serial rapists have been identified

Read more from the 2017 Detroit Policy Conference:

James Craig: Detroit’s Crime Trending Downward, but Hard Work Still Left to Do

James Craig: Detroit’s Crime Trending Downward, but Hard Work Still Left to Do

Fostering a safe city for residents, businesses and neighborhoods remains a top priority for Detroit Police Chief James Craig. In an intimate conversation with Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley, Craig outlined his vision to reduce crime and strengthen the city’s neighborhoods.

With several crime-fighting initiatives launched under his tenure, Craig said crime in Detroit has been steadily decreasing over the past five years. Detroit’s award-winning Project Green Light, also discussed at last year’s Conference, is now operating at more than 100 businesses across the city and is being replicated in Brazil.

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“I get asked all the time what makes the Detroit Police Department different,” Craig said. “I say, we are making policing exciting and innovation is the key.”

Craig said the police department welcomes collaboration and partnerships with businesses and neighborhood leaders to better fight crime.

“The neighborhoods that are safest are the ones where residents are more engaged,” Craig said. “This is important because it allows for open communication and transparency.”


MORE: Read more about the innovative work that is being done to ensure Detroit’s comeback continues.


Additionally, Craig cited team collaboration and improved police morale as key factors in the drop in crime. The department also reports improved response times and more than 200 officers in academy training, however Craig said there is more work to do.

“If we are going to continue to turn this city around we must all work together,” he said, adding that he would like to see more cooperation with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

The conversation was sponsored by Comcast Business.

Read more from the 2017 Detroit Policy Conference:

Toni Griffin: Detroit Is a Design and Planning Pioneer

Regional Businesses Connect Young Men of Color with Jobs, Pathways to Success

By Daniel Lai

In a visible sign of Detroit’s ongoing economic resurgence, more than 40 national and regional employers descended on Cobo Center on Monday to fill 300 full-time and 100 seasonal positions. The Pathways to Success summit, hosted by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, connected employers with boys and young men of color.

The job fair drew more than 1,500 young people, who met and interviewed with companies like the Detroit Police Department, Little Caesars, Meijer, Quicken Loans, Starbucks and Walgreens.

As part of its ongoing effort to grow the regional economy, the Detroit Regional Chamber served as a key partner for the Summit, helping to recruit Chamber member businesses to provide jobs and/or training opportunities.

“In Detroit, we’re facing an economic boom in the construction industry but also a trade labor shortage. For so many years, people have been told to go to college and it has taken away from the skilled trades industry overall. We need to replace those workers who are starting to age out,” said Dannis Mitchell, diversity manager at Barton Malow Coimg_9670

“Events like this Summit are a great way to meet these younger individuals and educate them on the steps needed toward a job or apprenticeship,” Mitchell added. “This is a tremendous experience for not only the youth but for the employers who are looking to tap into a new talent pipeline. We want to be a change agent in the community.”

In addition to on-the-spot interviews, the Summit provided free resume building workshops, mock interviews, coaching, haircuts from local barbershops, and sports coats and ties donated by Macy’s.

For more information on My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, visit www.mbkalliance.org.

GalaxE.Solutions teams with city of Detroit, donates technology for new police neighborhood centers

DETROIT – In his State of the City address last night, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced a donation by custom software developer GalaxE.Solutions that will provide new technology for 14 Detroit police community centers, located in neighborhoods throughout the city, by the end of 2013. The initiative, which will deliver to the police department 100 percent functionality and capability, is part of Mayor Dave Bing’s continuing efforts to make the city safer and more secure for its residents.

The new centers will be equipped with new desktop computers, phones and wireless access points, allowing direct communication with all Detroit precincts. Housed in the city’s neighborhoods, the centers will have a DPD presence, including two full-time officers and a community liaison.

“When the mayor’s office and DPD approached us on the technological challenges they are facing in the area of public safety, we wanted to help immediately while looking ahead to the future,” said Tim Bryan, GalaxE.Solutions CEO. “Promoting and supporting public safety is paramount as Detroit continues its resurgence.”

The community centers also offer residents a resource for blood pressure screening, senior exercise programs and after school care for children, among other resources. A DPD presence and report-writing station in each puts more officers on the streets and in the city’s neighborhoods, enhancing safety citywide.