Hey all, Jer here. Busy week in Southeast Michigan. Let’s get to it.

Remember, my thoughts are in italics; and I’ve numbered the stories in no particular order for comment purposes.

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Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

What to know

1 » A contract to expand the controversial ShotSpotter service to 28 square miles of Detroit has been delayed again. [ClickOnDetroit]

Chicago-based ShotSpotter uses microphone arrays and software to try and figure out where gunshot-like sounds come from with the goal of decreasing police response times — or sending them when there hasn’t been an actual report yet.

Critics say that it doesn’t work, it disproportionately targets communities of color and have privacy concerns. [BlockClub Chicago] [Electronic Frontier Foundation] [Busted Business Bureau]

But it has support from key places. Detroit Police Chief James White said at a recent town hall: “It is the most race-neutral piece of equipment that we have … It triggers on the percussion of a firearm, and that is a condition that we should all be concerned about.” [Michigan Radio]

“…if we’re going to delay it for a week I think it’s unfortunate and I think it’s playing games with people’s lives and emotions, and it’s wrong,” Councilman at-large Coleman A. Young II said. [Metro Times]

Detroit City Council extended the pilot project in two police precincts, but pushed off the vote on the $7 million or so to expand it to next week. Originally, they were going to use Federal COVID relief funds to pay for it but now there’s talk of putting it into the general fund. [WXYZ Detroit]

My two cents: Detroit Police continue to be understaffed, losing a cop a day from the force and in my opinion, with no realistic hope of getting their numbers back up soon due to lower pay, hard working conditions and attrition to suburban departments.

This trend is happening across the nation, but has been an issue for many years in Detroit. I think the story behind the story is city officials are looking to technology to help make up that gap. Some local outlets are already sticking pro-ShotSpotter verbiage in headlines, and talking about “virtual patrol officers.”

If I were a betting man — regardless of my feelings on the issue — I’m expecting this to eventually pass. In some ways, moving funding to general fund (although the postponement seems like a victory some) would make it more permanent as those Federal COVID dollars are a one-time thing.

2 » Luck has run out for the Lucky Duck in Clawson. The Korean-inspired restaurant opened last year to a bit of fanfare and pledges to pay living wages. They suddenly closed indefinitely this week with a note on the window. Have you visited? Share thoughts in the comments.

3 » General Motors tried to get their white-collar workers in Detroit and Warren back to work to three days a week. And stepped that right back after a big backlash. [Freep] [Detroit News]

GM isn’t the only office space story. Meridian Health just put up a whopping 306,000 square feet of downtown Detroit office up for sublease.  [Crain’s Detroit]

This is something I want to expand on in a future podcast. There’s cultural shifts at play, and resentment from blue collar workers who have been in the factory almost the whole time. That’s pertinent for some Detroit area companies.

4 » The Wayne County Jail project is over budget again. This time to the tune of $64 million, with Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock on the hook for most of it as part of a land swap deal. It’s also behind schedule. [Freep]

5 » Downtown Royal Oak is getting a (temporary) ice rink after a close vote. It’ll be open November 18 through February 19 and operated by Arts, Beats and Eats producer Jonathan Witz. The rink will be part of Winter Blast this year, which recently left Campus Martius in Detroit. [Daily Tribune]

6 » Main delay: Water service has seen lower pressure in a number of northern Metro Detroit communities in the wake of a 10-foot pipe leaking in August — and the work that needed to be done to replace it. The project in Fort Gratiot has been delayed a number of times and the new date is October 5 for regular service. [ClickOnDetroit]

7 » An Oakland County house for sale for $3.2 million has been skewered in McMansion Hell. Defenders I’ve seen say it’s worth the price because it’s in a good school district on a lake.

On the podcast

8 » Taco tales, new buildings, and Dearborn signs up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. They got 1,000 signups the first day. Plus, an easy fall cocktail.

9 » The power of porches + exterior design ft. Matt Mosher, DZINLY. I do love a great front porch, and this startup in Royal Oak makes it for someone to get someone to help design their exterior spaces.

10 » Who would you rather face in the playoffs, Detroit City FC fans? Fletcher Sharpe is in the studio to talk about that, some new players on the pitch and more.

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