Saginaw crime fighting program comes to Flint

Saginaw has seen a dip in crime since The Light Up The City campaign launched a year ago.

Leroy Mitchell has seen his Flint neighborhood head downhill for the past 44 years.

â??It looks like a tornado come through,â?? says Mitchell.

Last summer, 16-year old Darius Townsend was killed a block from Mitchellâ??s home. A month later, a child brought a gun to the same playground.

â??Frightening,â?? says Mitchell. â??You go in my house now, you got a bullet hole through the wall." Mitchell is hoping law enforcement's Light Up The City campaign will crack down on crime.

â??Where there's light, there's probability of crime occurring less,â?? James Tolbert, Flintâ??s police chief.

Free lightbulbs were given to neighbors Wednesday. Police are hoping illuminated porch lights will send a message.

â??Hopefully, like in Saginaw, the word gets out,â?? says Trooper Steven Kramer with the Michigan State Police. â??We're not just walking. If we see people out, we're actually talking to them,â?? says Trooper Kramer.

Since Light Up The City launched in Saginaw a year ago, crime has dropped significantly. First quarter crime numbers show a 50-percent drop in shootings and homicides in 2014.

â??I definitely think Light Up The City is helping,â?? says Sgt. Reggie Williams, public information officer for the Saginaw Police Department. â??I think it's a combination of everything,â?? says Williams.

Mitchell is hoping Saginawâ??s success translates to Flint.

â??Help one another, get acquainted with one another,â?? says Mitchell. â??Look out for one another,â?? he adds.

The Light Up The City rollout continues on Thursday with a block party at the River Park Apartments on Carpenter Road in Flint.