Flint's public safety plan met with criticism
Kamal Yisal opened up his store on Fenton Road last fall. He says it's been tough since then, because of the nearby crime, and wonders who's watching his neighborhood.
"This is ridiculous,â?? Yisal said. â??It has to stop, you know? This lawlessness has to stop and it has to stop from the bottom all the way to the top."
Flint Emergency Financial Manager Mike Brown and public safety leaders unveiled their plan Friday to revamp public safety in Flint. It includes re-opening the city lockup by July and integrating more state police in the Flint police department to help fight crime.
The move had members of the patrol officers union questioning if their jobs are protected.
"We're still the guys out there taking the complaints, the calls, the domestics, all the major stuff,â?? said Kevin Smith.
Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock says collaboration is critical, because the city stands to lose 19 police officers and 31 firefighters, if expired grants aren't renewed.
Newly appointed Public Safety Administrator Barnett Jones says that's why the city needs to find more stable funding, possibly through a millage increase.
"You pay for what you get, and we've got to get better at paying for police and fire in this community,â?? Jones said.
Mike Brown's plan also calls for more officers on patrol per 12-hour shift, using grant-funded communication technology to shorten response time and re-consolidating with Genesee County 911.
Whether it's a recipe for success remains to be seen, but residents say the status quo isn't working.
â??Get these bad guys off the street. Put them in jail, let them pay for their crimes, let them feel sorry for what they've done,â?? Yisal said.