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"A public safety crisis" in Flint

Aug 11, 2015

After 11 murders in two weeks,  law enforcement officials say the city of Flint is facing a crisis.

Flint Police Capt. Collin Bernie (left) speaks at a news conference on Flint's surging murder rate .
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Police have made five arrests and have suspects in four other cases. But the double murder of a one-year-old boy and a 71-year-old woman remains unsolved.

Flint Police Captain Collin Bernie says his detectives are stretched.

“We’ve been working non-stop for two weeks. Not a whole lot of sleep involved. Not a whole lot of rest involved,” says Bernie.

To help, the Michigan State Police is stepping up its presence in Flint, including nightly patrols by helicopter.  

“We understand that we’re in a public safety crisis right now,” says Lt. Tom Kish, the new commander of the Flint state police post.

"We’re in a public safety crisis," says Lt. Tom Kish, Flint MSP post commander
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At a news conference today, law enforcement officials talked about what they are doing to address the surge in gun violence. But they say they need the public’s help.

Julie Lopez is the Genesee County director for Crime Stoppers of Michigan.  

She wants to see more tips, especially in the double homicide.

“They’ve been asking for more information and I’ve been a little sad that community isn’t stepping up as much as they should be at this point,” says Lopez. “If the double homicide of a one-year-old and a 71-year-old isn’t making you speak up, what is?”

Police say none of the murders appear related. 

City officials are meeting this evening to discuss ways to hire more police officers.