Detroit Sets Low Record for Arsons Around Halloween

City of Detroit officials say this year’s “Angel’s Night” anti-arson effort set a new record. WDET’s Rob St. Mary reports.

(click the audio link above to hear the story)

Mayor Dave Bing says Detroit saw 94 fires over the three day weekend, the lowest number since the mid-1980s. The totals were just about average since city officials say they receive about 30 fire calls a day. Bing says he’s often asked why the volunteerism seen during “Angel’s Night” can’t be spread throughout the year.

“If we can keep our community engaged, taking care of ourselves, respecting ourselves, then maybe we can be successful on a year round basis but it does take a lot of planning and a lot of resources.”

Bing says even though there were fewer “Angel’s Night” volunteers this year, those who took part were more engaged and asked questions when they saw suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. In the mid-1980s, Detroit’s Halloween-time arson fires reached over 800 annually, became known as “Devil’s Night” and garnered international headlines.