Gen. Co. Sheriff proposes mobile crime unit

Genesee County could have a new mobile crime unit if Sheriff Robert Pickell gets his way.

He's asking Governor Rick Snyder for $3 million in funding for the team.

The unit would tackle the most violent spots in Genesee County.

"One night we may be a highly visible patrol and the next night we may be doing surveillance on suspects," said Pickell.

The mobile crime unit would consist of eighteen officers from Flint township, Flint, Mt. Morris Township, Burton, Genesee, Michgan State Police, and the Genesse County Sheriff's Department.

"I think this it is a good way to come together and to share intelligence."

Pickell says many times multiple agencies are working crimes committed by the same suspect.

He says that was the case with suspected serial stabber Elias Abuelazam, before anyone knew the stabbings were connected.

"I wonder how much of that goes on where police agencies are investigating the same people. It's a waste of resources."

Abuelazam is suspected of going on a three month stabbing spree around Genesee County in 2010 where five men were murdered.

Mt. Morris Township resident Dan Partlo works nights and says over the years he sees fewer police officers on the streets.

"I take I-475 everyday and I see a lot of crazy stuff. If you pay attention, it's only one cop at night all by himself, " said Partlo.

Partlo said with cities working on tighter budgets, this mobile crime unit sounds like the perfect solution.

Pickell says police chiefs from surrounding areas are on board.

He's requesting a meeting with Flint's Emergency Financial Manager Mike Brown in hopes of getting him on board.

Pickell says if the funding is approved, he could have the team up and running within 2 to 4 weeks.