Detroit's Angels' Night Volunteers Finish 2008 Vigil

Youth and teen parties throughout Detroit this evening are the culmination of this year's Angels' Night, an annual community mobilization campaign that has done a good job of reducing the city's arson epidemic on Halloween eve. Angels' Night this year was a three-day campaign that included a curfew barring unaccompanied children under 18 from being on the city's streets from 6 p.m. yesterday to 6 a.m. today.

State Farm Insurance, White Castle, Comerica Bank, and Comcast were among the campaign's sponsors this year. The campaign's Web site says it is one of the largest municipal volunteer initiatives in the country.

On Oct. 17, Detroit Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. and representatives of ARISE Detroit!, a coalition of community groups, urged city residents to volunteer, saying they were needed to patrol neighborhoods, watch unoccupied homes, and turn on their porch lights.

There were 810 reported fires in Detroit from Oct. 29-31, 1984, when the "Devil's Night" arsons reached their peak, but there were only 147 fires last year, the Associated Press reported. The report said 147 was up from 113 during the three-day period in 2006 and 121 in 2005.

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