Coming to a City Near You? Burn: ‘One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit’

BURN Trailer from Tremolo Productions on Vimeo.

Compelling video trailer for a film that isn’t produced yet about Detroit firefighters’ struggle to save a city — structurally and politically.

Is this film coming to a city near you? Are these conditions coming to a city near you?

This could be any city in the United States. Detroit is now. How many will follow? East St. Louis, Chicago, Oakland, New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Jose, Miami come to mind.

The Oakland City Council voted June 25, 2010 to eliminate the positions to help close the city’s $32.5 million funding gap. According to the city of Oakland, each of the 776 police officers currently employed at Oakland Police Department costs about $188,000 per year.

As a result of the cutbacks, Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts announced that if you live in Oakland and you are a victim of one of the following, you need to let police know on-line. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts listed 44 police incidents (partial list below) that would no longer get a police response:

car wrecks
burglary
theft
embezzlement
grand theft
grand theft:dog
identity theft
false information to peace officer
investigation of requirement to register as sex or arson offender
dump waste or offensive matter complaint
discard appliance with lock
loud music complaint
possession forged notes
pass fictitious check
obtain money by false voucher
fraudulent use of access cards
stolen license plate
embezzlement by an employee (over $ 400)
extortion
attempted extortion
false personification of other
injury/damage with telephone/ power line
interference with power line
unauthorized cable tv connection
vandalism/criminal damage to property
poisoning investigation
identity theft
vandalism

In East St. Louis, firefighters rejected proposals that would have brought back laid-off colleagues to work in exchange for furlough days — an agreement that brought back nineteen police officers in a similar negotiation.

East Saint Louis and Opa Locka, Florida have the highest crime rates in the United States (Opa Locka had the absolute highest crime rate in 2003 and 2004 for cities of any population.) According to FBI’s data of 2007, its murder rate hit 101.9 per population of 100,000, surpassing that of cities such as Compton, California (40.4 per pop. 100,000), Gary, Indiana (48.3 per pop. 100,000), New Orleans, Louisiana (37.6 per pop. 100,000), Richmond, Virginia (38.8), Baltimore, Maryland (43.3), Camden, New Jersey (40.0), Detroit, Michigan (47.3), and Washington, D.C. (29.1), as well as that of its neighbor St. Louis (37.2).

In 1976 East St. Louis had entire neighborhoods burned out after a massive urban fire.