Police have stepped up patrols and issued dozens of trespassing citations in the past two weeks.
So far this year, police cited about 550 people – an average of nearly two a day – for trespassing.
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That’s compared to 213 last year.
The penalties are stiff – $500 fine and plenty of hours of community services.
The sprawling former state hospital complex on 7 Mile includes about two dozens buildings still furnished with beds, a morgue, nurse stations, wheelchairs, books and artwork.
“It’s an alluring environment for a lot of people,” a Northville Police lieutenant said. “But it’s also dangerous and illegal to be there.”
Built in 1952 to house the mentally ill, the hospital closed in 2005 and has become a playground for teens, urban explorers and photographers.
Northville Township hopes to tear down the buildings as part of an $83 million project that is to include a new medical building for the University of Michigan.
Police are considering installing video cameras to further discourage trespassing.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.