Seven candidates will face off on Tuesday in Flint’s mayoral primary. There are many issues facing the city of Flint: The need for more economic development, the city’s budget problems. But the biggest issue appears to be crime.
Flint set a record last year for the number of homicides. The violent crime rate has increased, as the number of police officers has declined. Budget cuts have reduced Flint’s police force significantly in recent years.
Flint now has about one police officer for every thousand residents. Detroit, by comparison, has four police officers for every one thousand residents.
Many of the 7 candidates for the mayor’s job say increasing the number of police officers would be their top priority if elected.
The first step toward that takes place Tuesday, when Flint voters will narrow the field from 7 to 2. The voters will decide which of the two finalists will lead Flint in November.