Boston Mayor Tom Menino apologized this week after saying that he would like to go to Detroit and “blow up the place.”
In an recent interview with The New York Times, Menino had been asked how he would handle Detroit’s bankruptcy if he were mayor.
“I’d blow up the place and start all over,” Menino said. “No, seriously, when it takes a police officer 90 minutes to answer a call, there’s something wrong with the system. Forty percent of the streetlights are out, most of the buildings are boarded up. Why? Inaction, that’s the problem — leadership.”
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing fired back on Tuesday by saying he was disappointed at Menino’s choice of words less than a year after the Boston Marathon bombings.
“It is extremely regrettable that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino used such an unfortunate choice of words to describe what he would do if he came to Detroit,” Bing explained, according to MLive. “I would think the mayor of a city that recently experienced a deadly bombing attack would be more sensitive and not use the phrase ‘blow up.’”
“I am also dismayed that Mayor Menino did not get his facts right before making his remarks to the widely-read New York Times. The Detroit Police Department’s response time is not – and has never been — 90 minutes. And, most of our city’s buildings are not boarded up. Since taking office more than four years ago, there has been tireless action on the part of my administration to improve the quality of life for our citizens. In fact, I invite Mayor Menino to visit Detroit to see our city for himself.”
Menino spokesperson Dot Joyce on Tuesday told reporters that “the mayor is sorry that people have taken offense.”
Police Chief James Craig said last year that the average 911 response time in Detroit for calls involving emergencies was 15 minutes.
Watch this video from NECN, broadcast Sept. 4, 2013.