Flint, MI– In the last two weeks, the Flint Police Department’s Special Investigative Unit has seized $60,000 worth of illegal narcotics, $50,000 in cash, and several illegal weapons.
Police Chief Terence Green said that is just a “small sampling of the work that they have done,” since the unit’s creation last year.
Green held a press conference on March 9, to discuss the latest work of the SIU, a team of six individuals working proactively to find and seize drugs and illegal weapons.
The SIU is not responsible for the hundreds of daily radio calls Flint police officers normally deal with, Green said, so they can instead focus their energy into investigations.
“The main benefit of the special investigative unit is being proactive, and having the time and resources to investigate drug houses, and basically target the drivers of crime,” he said.
Green said the unit is assisted by every police division—the detective bureau, patrol, traffic, juvenile, intel analysts, etc.—as well as the Flint community. The SIU has gotten tips from residents about certain individuals and locations which have led the unit to carry out their searches.
Green called what the unit does “very, very dangerous work.” The evidence, he said, is in what has been seized.
Assault rifles, semi-automatic weapons, magazines, bullets, crystal meth, heroin, cocaine, and thousands of dollars in cash were laid out across the table during the press conference.
Green said everything on the table came from raids of two drug houses over the last two weeks, and that their findings were typical for searches like these.
“This is what we expect when we enter these homes,” Green said.
The searches resulted in several felony arrests ranging from possession of drugs with intent to sell, and possession of firearms, Green said. Although he said that people in possession of these types of weapons may not be deterred from possessing another once they get out of jail, the department will be “just as stubborn” as they have been about finding and arresting them again.
He said the SIU’s work will have a direct impact on crime in the community.
“It takes these guns off the street. So innocent victims getting caught in the crossfire of bad drug deals, bad actors out there, it takes these firearms off the street,” Green said. “…taking those narcotics off the street, [narcotics] can lead to a lot of… conflict in the community.”
Green said the weapons and narcotics seized by the department will be destroyed, and that the money that was seized will go towards the police department to be used for purchasing equipment.
At a special city council meeting convened last month, Green said there were 11 officers in the process of being hired with six in training, two in the academy, and three in the final stages of being hired.
As far as the gun buyback program, Neeley said that for now, due to COVID-19, it has been put on pause.