violent crime

Stateside
12:29 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

After one year on the job, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the department is turning around

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It has been exactly one year since James Craig returned to his hometown as Detroit’s 42nd police chief. He was hired by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

“The city was not the city I had left,” Chief Craig said.

Chief Craig came back to a city facing bankruptcy - a city with soaring crime rates, response times of 58 minutes, police precincts that were not open to citizens after 4 p.m., and uniformed officers who were demoralized and spread thin working 12 hour shifts.

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Opinion
11:29 am
Tue April 15, 2014

This is doing more damage to Detroit than a hundred drug murders could have

By now, millions know the story.

Thirteen days ago, on the east side of Detroit, a ten-year-old boy darted in front of a truck driven by a middle-aged tree trimmer named Steven Utash. He couldn’t help hitting the child, whose leg was broken.

When Utash got out to check on the boy, a mob beat him so severely he nearly died. He was in a medically-induced coma for days, and may end up with permanent brain damage.

All that is horrifying enough, but there is one additional terrible detail which is the main reason the story has gotten national attention.

The tree trimmer was white. His assailants were all black. And I can tell you that this is doing more damage to Detroit than a hundred drug murders could have. This may be more devastating to the city than Kwame Kilpatrick ever was. People are used to crooked politicians of all colors, shapes and sizes. Detroit had white mayors who wound up in prison long before Kilpatrick was born.

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Law
12:41 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Flint's new police chief gets to work

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert says to address violent crime in Flint it’s important to look at all the “underlying crimes”, like larceny or breaking & entering, which affect the violent crime rate.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

New Flint Police Chief James Tolbert says he wants to “make Flint safe for the people who live here, (and) the people who visit here”

This is the first day on the job for Tolbert.  He previously served for more than 25 years in the Detroit Police Department, where he rose to Deputy Chief. 

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Stateside
3:52 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

President Obama seeks advice from Flint's mayor on youth violence

Flint Michigan Facebook.com

It isn't every day when the President of the United States turns to you for advice.

 But Flint's Mayor Dane Walling is now in that relatively small group who can say exactly that. Mayor Walling was among 18 mayors who sat down in a White House meeting with President Obama. The topic: how to reduce violence among young people -- something Dane Walling is faced with every single day. That's because Flint is among the top U.S. cities of more than 50,000 people with the worst crime rates. Mayor Dane Walling joined us today. Listen to the interview above.

Education
11:32 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Michigan State Police troopers bring safety message to Flint elementary schools

MSP Trooper Walt Crider talks to students at Bryant Elementary in Flint
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

About 20 Michigan State Troopers are spending the next few days meeting with Flint schoolchildren.

Michigan State Police Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue told a student assembly today at Bryant Elementary in Flint that she would like to see them waving at Michigan State Police patrol cars as they drive through their neighborhood.

“Because it really kind of hurts our feelings when our car goes by and no one waves at us,” Etue told the students.

One student blurted out “We be scared”, which drew laughter from the students.

But Etue says their fear is a problem.

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Politics & Government
2:43 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Spike in violent crime near Grand Rapids prompts state police helicopter patrols

One of two Michigan State Police helicopters that will begin patrols in west Michigan.
michigan.gov/msp

This month Michigan State Police helicopters began what will be regular patrols of the Grand Rapids area.

Lieutenant Chris McIntire commands the Rockford Post. He says the patrols come in response to a spike in murders and other violent crime in the past few months.

“Not just in Grand Rapids but all of western Michigan, the State Police has found it's probably a benefit to bring some of those resources over here, help to curb some of that crime,” McIntire said.

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Stateside
5:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Will 7 new police officers in Flint help?

Flint Police Deprtment Headquarters, Flint, Michigan
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

There are seven new police officers patrolling the streets of Flint. They were hired as part of a public safety millage approved by Flint voters last November.

The millage is expected to generate $5.3 million this year, but what's going to happen in future years as the population keeps shrinking and property values drop?

With the recent hiring of seven officers, the Flint Police Department now has 124 officers. That is down from an estimated 350 officers when times were better.

Will these new officers help make a dent in Flint's crime rate? Flint is in the unenviable spot near the top of many of the "most violent city" lists.

Kevin Smith is the president of the Flint Police Officer's Association.

He mentioned that the seven new officers won't make a big difference any time soon.  We asked what it would take, in terms of staffing, to make Flint noticeably safer.

To hear the full interview, click the link above.

Health
1:08 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

MSU Researchers: Murder spreads like disease

Credit wikimedia commons

A group of Michigan State University researchers say violence spreads through communities in much the same way diseases do.

The researchers looked at homicide data from Newark, New Jersey over a 26-year period, from 1982-2008.

Researcher and study author April Zeoli says the work stemmed from the perception that violence is “contagious.”

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Crime
1:00 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Man who opened fire in police station was a veteran

Yesterday, on Veterans Day, Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire.

Yesterday's first AP report said the man and an officer were wounded in the shootout:

Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire, then was wounded in an exchange of shots with an officer who also was hit.

Police tell WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV that the shooting happened Sunday afternoon in the Detroit suburb. They say the wounded officer and the suspect are in stable condition.

Now we learn that the man who entered the station was a veteran and he was killed in the shootout.

The 64-year old man was identified as Harold J. Collins of Southfield.

More from MLive

Collins was shot several times and killed.

Investigators identified Collins as a military veteran. He was in poor health and had "serious internal issues," Southfield Police Chief Eric Lawson said Monday.

Lawson was unsure in what branch of the military Collins served. He  would "not speculate" on whether that played a role in the shooting or timing.

The Detroit Free Press has more details on how the shooting occurred.

At 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, police said Collins left his white Dodge Caliber and walked into the department lobby in plain clothes. Hawkins said he approached the information desk, which is behind protective glass, and gave no answer when the officer behind the glass greeted him.

“There was nothing to alert any of our staff that anything unusual was about to happen,” said Hawkins.

The Free Press reports officers are still trying to reach Collins' family members.

Music
5:13 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Insane Clown Posse takes F.B.I. to court

Fans of the band Insane Clown Posse, known as Juggalos and identified by their grease facepaint, have been accused by the F.B.I. of gang activity.
Jen Sadler flickr

Oakland County hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse is taking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to court.

A lawsuit filed in Flint federal district court on Tuesday contends the F.B.I. violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to turn over information that led the agency to classify fans of the group as a gang.

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Crime
1:32 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Flint to use high tech tool to target gun crime

SST inc.

The city of Flint is turning to a new high tech tool to crack down on gun crime in the city.    

The "Shot Spotter” system uses more than a dozen sonic sensors to pinpoint the location of where gun shots are fired in a square mile area. The SST system is already being used in more than 60 cities around the country, including Saginaw. 

Company president Ralph Clark said the Shot Spotter system should help Flint police officers respond to reports of gunfire in the city.  

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Flint
8:28 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Flint looking at ways to prevent crime

A banner hanging at last night's public meeting on gun violence in Flint
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Citizens of Flint are talking about ways to reduce their city’s violent crime rate.    It’s all part of a special series of public meetings on crime prevention.   

Flint recently topped a list of the nation’s cities with the worst violent crime rates.    Gun violence is a chief problem.    Police say 90% of Flint’s homicides involve firearms.  

Donna Gallo was among dozens of Flint residents at a special public meeting on violent crime last night.  

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Crime
4:30 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Violent crime rising in some Michigan cities

Flint Public Safety director Alvern Lock (file photo)
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 Flint is being called “the Most Dangerous City in America.”   The FBI released a report today that shows Flint had the highest violent crime rate in the nation last year among cities with 100,000 or more people.   

Flint recorded a record number of murders in 2010.  Other violent crimes also increased, as budget cuts forced the city to reduce its police force.

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