Michigan Governor Rick Snyder held meetings in Flint today about public safety.
Flint has the worst violent crime rate in the nation, according to the FBI. As Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reported, gun violence is the main problem.
Kristin Longley of the Flint Journal reported on the Governor's meetings today.
The Governor held two roundtable discussions - one with local law enforcement and government officials and another with community leaders from local churches, foundations, schools, and the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Snyder said crime in Michigan has to be addressed. From the Flint Journal:
“If you look at the most violent crime list, or a number of the crime lists, four communities in Michigan are on that list,” Snyder said. “That’s not acceptable.”
The governor pledged to continue the boosted state police patrols in the city. Currently, four squads are doing directed patrols in the evening and early morning hours, seven days a week.
Since patrols were boosted in June, state police have made more than 3,200 traffic stops and arrested 533 fugitives, according to state police data. State police Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said the agency’s helicopter patrols have been particularly helpful in the local crime-fighting effort.
Snyder said he's planning to deliver a special message on crime in Michigan's cities sometime next year.
Longley reported some people came to the meetings to voice their disapproval of the state's emergency manager laws.
Flint is currently being run by state-appointed emergency manager Michael Brown. The Mayor and Flint City Council members have been stripped of their power.
Flint NAACP President Frances Gilcreast said the recent takeover by an emergency manager was one topic that wasn't brought up:
“That was the elephant in the room,” she said of the meeting, which was by invitation only and was closed to the media. “How can people effect change if the voice of the people is not being honored?”