Detroit considers creating first Green Light camera corridor to curb crime in Corktown


Project Green Light signage on a Subway restaurant at W. McNichols and Wyoming. - CITY OF DETROIT
  • City of Detroit
  • Project Green Light signage on a Subway restaurant at W. McNichols and Wyoming.

When developers last week broke ground on a project that will bring additional housing and retail to the area of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull, they were standing behind a bar that, just two days prior, had fallen victim to its third break-in of the year.

Police say thieves cracked open a safe and removed an ATM from Nemo's on May 6, keeping alive a break-in wave that began in Corktown early this year. At least three other Michigan Avenue businesses were broken into over the winter, including restaurant Katoi, which was set on fire. Two additional trendy eateries nearby were broken into this spring.

Now, with the coming Elton Park development bringing more attention to Corktown's main drag, city officials suggest they're crafting a plan to thwart criminal activity in the area.

"I think you're very shortly going to see this Michigan corridor be the first Green Light corridor, where every business is covered by the Green Light security program," Mayor Mike Duggan told Channel 7 at the groundbreaking ceremony last Monday. "That will be a next major step forward."

Detroit's Project Green Light program allows businesses that purchase the proper video surveillance equipment to have the footage piped right into police headquarters for monitoring. The city says the program costs businesses between $4,000 and $6,000 to join.

So far, Green Light has been utilized by more than 100 businesses, most of them gas stations and liquor stores located in the Detroit's more dangerous pockets. The city says the technology has cut incidents of violent crime in half at the first batch of businesses that signed on for the program in winter of 2016.

If the technology were to come to Michigan Avenue, the hope is it would have a similar affect. However, it could be some time before businesses along Corktown's main strip obtain the cameras — a spokesman for the mayor says plans are very preliminary and still in the discussion phase.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.