According to the Detroit News, Mayor Dave Bing is offering tax-foreclosed homes in Detroit to police officers for $1,000. Additional funds would be provided for rehabilitating the properties. According to the article, the majority of Detroit's police officers live in the surrounding suburbs. This effort seeks to lure officers back to the city and anchor them within the communities that they serve. If the program can find extra funding, it may be expanded to firefighters. This is a great idea for any city that needs to revitalize its neighborhoods. Chicago should take note — city employees are already required to live in the city. A similar program could draw police and firefighters into more neighborhoods. Currently, many city employees live as far out of the city as possible. Drawing them back into other neighborhoods could drive up property values and prevent further vacancies from becoming a target for criminal activity.
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