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Penske, corporations to help Detroit get public safety vehicles?

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Roger Penske  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Roger Penske (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit is full of stories and families who say they have lost loved ones because the nearest ambulance broke down or just was not available.  There are even more stories of Detroiters who called 9-1-1 and a police car never showed up.

Now multiple sources have said some of the area's corporate leaders are stepping up to help.  Racing mogul Roger Penske has offered to structure a lease program that will put 23 ambulances and 100 police cars on Detroit's streets, and private corporate contributors will help make the monthly payments.

It is part of Mayor Dave Bing's "Active and Safe Detroit" program, which the mayor mentioned during his State of the City address.

"Our goal is to raise $60 million to keep our 17 recreation centers open and to provide the latest equipment and training for police and firefighters," Bing said on February 13.  "Last week I met with the top CEOs of metropolitan Detroit businesses to ask for their assistance in raising the additional $45 million to reach our goal."

Sources told us the mayor and Fire Commissioner Don Austin want to see $15 million rolled into the deal over three years.  That money will pay for new fire trucks and critical repairs.

Penske released a statement in which he said, "We have had early discussions.  Nothing has been finalized.  We will provide updates as available."

Detroiters are just hoping the talk becomes a done deal very soon.

We did reach out to Mayor Bing's office for comment.  We were told the mayor will comment on this at a later time.

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