When most people think of “Detroit,” they think crime. Period.
There is cause for that — the crime rates in the city have turned heads for years, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, despite the best efforts of many law enforcement officers.
Thanks to one Army veteran, however, crime might not be eliminated in Detroit neighborhoods, but it’s darn well being curbed.
In an extensive interview with Popular Military, a former Cavalry Scout identified only as Mr. Adams is cleaning up the neighborhood where he bought an investment property — one phone call at a time.
According to Adams, he has always wanted to purchase properties in Detroit and make them livable again. However, the challenges have been substantial.
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He bought his first property directly from the city, moving to Detroit after working on the West Coast for ten years.
The house was a gut job.
“From 10,000lbs of concrete into the ground for new supports, all new main beams, re-framed almost every wall, new windows, doors, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, siding, porches and the roof,” he told Popular Military. “I have done 90 percent of it myself and I am finally bearing completion.”
However, lengthy renovations are less of a problem for him than the local populace: His neighborhood was completely overrun by drug dealers.
“From the minute I started work on the house, I would literally see hundreds of drug deals happening daily on the corner,” Adams explained.
“Initially, I would call narcotics directly, but they were never interested in sellers… 90% of the times that I called 911 or narcotics, no one would ever show up.”
However, Detroit has a system known as “community policing” — an officer works a specific neighborhood, supporting the residents as best he can. Once Adams realized that, responses to his calls picked up considerably.
Adams started taking videos, photos, and reporting descriptions to the neighborhood patrol officer — and police began to take him a little more seriously. Then he got in touch with the night shift officer, and things really began to take off.
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“Once I had my nighttime guy, the fun really started. because I would get instant results,” he told Popular Military.
“I would get a picture, video, or sometimes just a good description and within 20 minutes, they were arrested.”
As you can imagine — drug dealers and those they worked with were not happy with that at all.
There have been multiple attempts to invade his house and kill him.
The first time, Adams didn’t even have a gun.
“I woke up to someone walking down the stairs,” he recalled.
“I grabbed my axe — I didn’t have guns at the time — and started yelling at him to bring it on. He ran back up the stairs, so I started banging on the walls and yelling for him to get the f*** back down here.”
Even with just an axe, his moxie was sufficient to drive off his adversary.
At that point, Adams decided it was time to upgrade to self-defense gear if he was going to finish the renovation unscathed.
“That’s when I stepped up my game with guns and body armor,” he stated.
Then he got gutsy.
“I would approach (the dealers) directly, phone held in hand, recording their transactions,” he said. “They would huff and puff, but always flee… Within a few days, we had most of them in jail.”
Criminals like those on the corner peddling drugs aren’t generally ones known for their bravery. However, even these thugs finally had enough. It was war.
“That’s when the death threats started,” he recalled. There was another invasion of his home, again with someone trying to make their way down the stairs to get at him.
He was no easy target.
“That time, I was armed,” he recalled. He fired on his attacker, but missed with his shotgun and blew a hole in his wall.
“Sadly, I missed — eight inches too far to the left.”
It was still more than enough to send the would-be murderer packing, but things didn’t ease up for Adams, who spent some time living as you’d expect someone would in a war zone.
“Spent a few weeks sleeping in (armor),” he recalled to Popular Military.
“The way the law is written here, you can’t shoot anyone outside your house, even if they are threatening you. So on the occasions where they would be camping out, I’d walk right out the front door and fire off a few rounds at their tires… They would peel away yelling their threats and showing their guns.”
His bravery stopped the attackers without blood being drawn, but he couldn’t hold them off forever by himself. He soon found another veteran who wanted to help him. They shared a neighborhood, and when the death threats came rolling in, they’d watch each other’s back.
If you’re a two-bit thug, you don’t want to square off with multiple military vets. That’s a pretty easy way to wind up in the morgue.
Despite the incredible tension in which he lives day in and day out, Adams doesn’t plan to hang his shotgun on the wall just yet.
“This story never ends,” he stated.
“After I sell this house, I buy another one on another block and see that it is cleaned up as well. This started out as a one-man war; it’s really starting to turn into a movement. So many other people within this community are becoming much more proactive.”
What he’s doing is incredibly brave and dangerous, as well as a great example of being the change we want to see in our communities.
Thank you, Mr. Adams, for paving the way for something great.
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