Plan could mean 50 to 60 additional officers in Flint
Wed, 08 Feb 2012 21:35:32 GMT —
The plan to get 1,000 more police officers in Michigan receives bipartisan support.
Representative Jim Ananich (D-Flint) says he's putting politics aside saying it doesn't matter who comes up with a good idea.
The plan is to use some of Michigan's $457-million surplus to fund more officers.
Flint has around one police officer for every thousand people. Officer Terry Neely, president of the Flint Police Officers Association says fighting crime is an uphill battle. "The criminals know the police aren't coming so that's why they commit crimes."
It's a smaller police force than it was 15 years ago.
Like other metro areas in Michigan, it's following a dangerous trend.
Republican Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says, "Since 9-11, 3,200 police officers were reduced across the State of Michigan. I just think that's a wrong message. We need to move the public safety needle into the positive direction."
Schuette wants a thousand police officers added across the state. Democratic Representative Jim Ananich supports the cause--and adds a more specific approach. He wants to spend $140-million over two years. Half of the money would go to communities like Flint that are under financial review or emergency management.
"This is what government is supposed to be doing, helping the people, working together, and this is a basic function of government. If we can't agree on this then shame on us," says Ananich, who also says Flint could see an additional 50 to 60 officers. That would be 40% more than the current force.
"It would be better saturation from the city and lower response times," says Neeley. "Basically making the community safer."
There could be a vote on this measure next week.
If everything goes according to this plan, supporters say the additional officers could hit the streets in a month.