Greetings! This month we are excited to bring to you contributor Keith W. Strandberg’s exclusive interview with Detroit’s Police Chief James E. Craig. Craig drew national attention the last few months when he suggested legal gun owners can help deter crime in cities. December 19 on am radio program “The Paul W. Smith Show”, Craig said, “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quickly in the state of Maine.”
This chief has experience. And he speaks his mind. Detroit has declared bankruptcy and patrol officers are hurting. But Craig will be the first to tell you his beloved motor city is on the upswing, and the enthusiasm is catching.
“Come downtown and see the wonderful things happening,” says Craig. “Take in a Lions game or a Red Wing game. Take a ride on the People Mover or visit Campus Martius … Come visit us, and then tell me that Detroit is not coming back.”
Also in this month’s issue we cover the scary/hopeful/stressful topic of funding. If your agency is in need, there are more than a few places you can turn to for assistance. Last week at Shot Show I met Ryan Smith, Vice Chairman of the nonprofit foundation Spirit of Blue out of Chicago. (You’ll have to sit tight until next month to get the scoop on show coverage—and yes, plenty of guns.)
Spirit of Blue looks to fill holes in law enforcement operations to include safety, training and resources. They’re always raising funds to help deliver equipment upgrades for departments of all shapes and sizes, from local to federal. Smith told me a tiny, 4-patrol car Sabina, Ohio department recently requested upgraded Bushman patrol rifles and received an entire operational patrol system, including rifles, magazines, sights and more. Smith says agencies should check first to see whether they are able to received gifts. Spirit of Blue always has grants in progress, and they’ll help you through each stage of the process. Anyone can nominate an agency to win a grant, or agencies can complete an eligibility form on their website. It might be worth a shot.
For tips on how to face that application with confidence and organization, take a look at “Coach” Brian Vicker’s grant application writing tips on page 16. Believe or not, most of the work isn’t the writing, rather it’s all about knowing your department—how it works, what it needs and why—and knowing it better than anyone else.
Another place you might look to for information is NIJ’s funding pages at www.nij.gov for new and surplus equipment.
In the meantime be confident, be inspired, and above all be safe.