Detroit - Crime across the city inched up in most major categories compared to last year, and despite a drop in homicides, the statistics are "sobering," said Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr.
The crime figures were released during a forum that updated residents on incidents so far this year and how police are tackling issues affecting their neighborhoods.
Through Monday, the city had 98 homicides - four fewer than the same period last year, the department said.
Meanwhile, for the period ending April 22, larcenies were up 2.57 percent from 2011, to 5,107; assaults rose 1.7 percent to 8,476; and burglaries increased 1.7 percent to 4,848.
Authorities say at a time when Detroit's fiscal problems call for cutting more officers and slashing the police budget, the figures underscore a greater need for a change in the city culture, including urging residents to become more proactive.
"This is bigger than just the Police Department. This is a community issue," Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis told a crowd of about 100 people at a church on the city's southwest side. "This is about all of us coming together. ... One murder is too much for this city."
Godbee acknowledged the statistics were "sobering."
But during his tenure, he said, there are 300 fewer officers and more guns on the street, which forces the department to juggle crime with fewer resources.
"The areas that have the most violent issues ... tie up a tremendous amount of resources," he said. "When the shootings go down, the officers are freed up."
As part of a move to boost police presence in neighborhoods, "virtual precincts" have been launched that move more officers into the streets.
But some residents worry there still aren't enough cops out, or say some areas do not receive as much attention.
"Make sure the officers are evenly distributed so the community can have assurance that they will have police," said Theresa Landrum, a southwest resident who said her area has seen more break-ins.
Other residents complained about increased efforts to cut back on scrap metal thefts in abandoned homes and other structures.
"We're losing this neighborhood one house at a time," said Tyrone Carter, who heads a block club.
Godbee and other police officials on Monday said the department is continuing to monitor response times, improving its compliance with federal oversight, exploring ways to boost its reserve officers and is expanding outreach such as a program that mentors ex-felons.
The police chief called on residents to act as the department's "eyes and ears" when it comes to crime.
"It's going to take time. It's going to take continued community involvement." he said. "If you hang with us, I promise you we will get it done."
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