Detroit’s Angels’ Night Campaign kicks off tomorrow on Wednesday October 29 and goes through Friday, October 31. Angels’ Night is the community’s response to Devil’s Night (typically the night before Halloween) tradition of arson, mischief, and vandalism that became a problem in Detroit. Angels’ Night was organized by Detroit City officials under mayor Dennis Archer after a particularly bad Devil’s Night in 1994. The goal of the city-wide initiative is to prevent damage to property and maintain safety by keeping vigil over the city’s neighborhoods.
We have thoroughly enjoyed patrolling the city for the past few years during Angels’ Night. It is fun, fosters community spirit, and is a good way to volunteer for a good cause in Detroit. This year Mayor Duggan plans to personally patrol all three nights and he urges city residents and supporters to help him. You’ll also get a t-shirt and if you show your shirt at a White Castle you get two free burgers and a drink to keep you going while you’re out there preventing trouble.
“Detroit has a great deal of positive momentum right now and we want to keep it going,” Mayor Mike Duggan said, referring to the efforts to relight neighborhoods, increased blight removal efforts and 50 new buses set to arrive next year. “Every City department is focused completely on making sure we have a successful Angels’ Night campaign and we are calling on every Detroiter to become a part of it.”
It’s the volunteers who live in, work in, and care about the city which have been making this event a success since it began. We really recommend grabbing a couple friends or family members and going on patrol.
“Citizen volunteers are the backbone of our Angels’ Night campaign each year and we want to let them know personally how valuable and needed they are,” the Mayor said.
This year’s Angels’ Night includes several ways to get involved:
• Watch Your Block Patrol Program organizes teams of volunteers to patrol streets in Detroit. Block clubs, Citizens’ Radio Patrols, community organizations and churches are encouraged to patrol a two- to three-block radius around their neighborhoods.
And if patrolling isn’t your cup of tea, these other neighborhood programs might spark your interest (pun not intended):
• Adopt-A-House Program seeks volunteers to watch or adopt specific vacant buildings in city neighborhoods. This Building Is Being Watched signs are posted on adopted buildings.
• Porch Light Program encourages volunteers to turn on their porch lights, or any outdoor lights, between dusk and dawn.
• Eyes and Ears Program calls volunteers to regularly look out their windows to make sure no suspicious activity is taking place, and to call 9-1-1 if they do see something out of the ordinary.
All residents are encouraged to:
• Turn on outside lights at their homes from dusk until morning on each day of the Halloween period.
• Report any suspicious activity they observe to the Detroit Police Department by calling 9-1-1.
• Place refuse containers or bulk items at the curb before 7 a.m. on the morning of the collection day, rather than the night before, and remove refuse containers immediately after the trash is collected.
For more information, or to volunteer, go to the City’s Web site at www.angelsnight.org or call (313) 224-4415 or visit one of the offices listed below:
• West – Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers at Curtis
• East – Butzel Family Center, 7737 Kercheval near Van Dyke
• Southwest – Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere near Vernor
• Northeast – Matrix Human Services, 13560 McNichols
• Far West – Don Bosco Hall Community Resource Center, 19321 W. Chicago
During the three nights of the Angels’ Night period, there will be additional satellite locations where volunteers can sign up and receive areas to patrol:
Detroit Police 10th Precinct
8675 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Detroit, Michigan 48206
all three nights
Address contact: 12800 Toronto 48217
Times of operations: 5-11 p.m.
October 30 only
1st Spirit of Love Missionary Baptist Church
Times of operations: 6-11 p.m.
All three nights
2nd Jefferson East, Inc.
Times of operations 6-10 p.m.
All three nights
Prince Hall Masons
Times of operations 5-12 p.m.
October 30 only
To help young people stay safe, the Detroit Recreation and Police departments are holding a number of Halloween parties and activities for children and teens. Information will be on the City’s web site at www.angelsnight.org or at a local recreation center or police precinct.
Sponsors have provided more than $25,000 in donations and in-kind contributions. The lead sponsor this year is Comerica Bank, which has supported the Angels’ Night campaign with more than $100,000 in donations since the program began more than 20 years ago.