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Flint, MI– Flint parks may be getting an extra layer of security.
According to an Aug. 23 public safety update, the city has requested that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office assist in patrolling Flint parks at dusk and that Genesee County Parks assist the city in adding gates to the entrances of three parks.
The biweekly public safety updates are intended to provide residents with the progress being made on a series of initiatives Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced after declaring a State of Emergency in Flint due to gun violence. As of Aug. 15, there has been a 46.43% increase in murders in Flint this year compared to last.
At the first public safety update two weeks ago, Neeley announced that Flint parks would be closing at 9 p.m. rather than 10 p.m.—about when the sun sets—as one effort to prevent crime.
The announcement came shortly after a shooting at Broome Park on Aug. 9, that left four people in critical condition and two people dead.
During the announcement, Flint Police Chief Terence Green said he thought closing parks earlier was a good idea, as shootings tend to happen at large gatherings at these parks. He noted that Cook and Brennan parks, in addition to Broome Park, are spots for crime.
According to the update from Aug. 23, Broome, Brennan, and Cook parks may be the ones receiving gates at their entrances.
In addition to the park-related measures, the city announced that the Flint City Lockup has reopened, and had “activity over the weekend.” The Lockup is used to provide a hold of up to 72 hours for people who have been arrested.
The Lockup will be used by the Flint Police Department as well as the Michigan State Police, the University of Michigan-Flint Department of Public Safety, and Mott Community College Department of Public Safety.
Reopening police mini stations was one of the mayor’s initiatives in the State of Emergency declaration, and according to the latest update, they are in the process of being renovated and reactivated.
Renovations have been completed at the mini stations located at the Dort Mall, Midway Townhomes, and University and Chevrolet. Renovations are underway at the mini station at the corner of Bishop Ave and Martin Luther King.
Another initiative in the State of Emergency declaration was hiring more police officers. The latest update states that there are six new recruits in the police academy.
As of July 23, the Flint Police Department had 104 sworn officers, according to Flint’s Director of Communications Melissa Brown.
Police officers are also in the final stages of being trained to use the newly leased helicopter. That training is set to be complete by the end of the month.