The two men running for Flint mayor agree on one thing: Crime is the city’s biggest problem.
Incumbent Mayor Dayne Walling debated challenger Darryl Buchanan last night.
Flint recently topped the FBI’s violent crime rankings. Flint has also been called one of the 'Dangerous' cities in America.
Walling says he’s tried to combat Flint’s growing murder and violent crime rates with federal grants and community involvement.
“We continue to put officers where they’re most needed. We’re using new technologies to better respond to the calls that are coming in," says Walling.
But Buchanan says budget cuts Walling has made to Flint’s police department are to blame for the rise in violent crime.
"It is statistically significant….that when you reduce the number of police on the streets…that violent crime goes up," says Buchanan.
During the debate, Buchanan repeatedly referenced comments by Vice President Joe Biden during a visit last week to a Flint fire station. The vice president talked about how Flint's layoffs of police officers resulted in a rise in violent crime.
Walling blames the need for deep cuts in flint's budget on poor choices made by previous Flint city leaders, including Darryl Buchanan.
Last night's debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Urban League.