I live right on Detroit's northern border and I work in Midtown, which is actually a pretty decent place to be. Unfortunately, it's only a few acres out of the almost 1,300 square miles that is the city of Detroit. There are nice places in the city, believe it or not, but the sheer size of the city is hard to comprehend - the total area of abandoned property alone in Detroit is about the same as that of the entire city of San Francisco. This, I believe, is Detroit's fundamental problem. It's simply too big. There are maybe 10 or 20 square miles of decent areas in the city, the rest is more or less a patchwork of dilapidated houses and abandoned factories. There's no way the city can provide adequate services to that big of an area, but none of the surrounding suburbs want to take over any part of the city, either. There are other problems of course, like perennially corrupt and ineffectual city politics, and an unwillingness to pitch in on the part of the surrounding suburbs, some of which are among the wealthiest communities in the world.
It's a mess, for sure. I definitely feel for the Detroit police department - they have more on their plates than any police force should have to deal with.