Flint, MI– The Flint Community Advisory Task Force on Public Safety is inviting residents to attend their monthly public meetings to voice their concerns about safety in the city.

The City announced the creation of this task force in August of last year to “bridge the gap” between the community and the police department. 

The group is chaired by Pastor Jeffery Hawkins and Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, and is made up of 12 Flint residents who work for the community in areas of health, social justice, and education.

They hold monthly public meetings via Zoom every third Thursday of the month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The meetings also are being broadcast live on the Task Force’s Facebook page. The next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 p.m., and residents are welcome to attend. 

Residents also can contact the Task Force via email at info@flinttaskforce.org. According to a news release from the City, the group wants to elevate the voices in the community, but “is not intended to be the first stop for a resolution to issues.” Rather, it should be “an outlet for those who feel they’ve exhausted other means to be heard.”

“The purpose of this Task Force is to foster a just and equitable community through the collaboration of our community and public safety,” said Dr. Furr-Holden in the news release. “We will work in partnership with the City of Flint and local public safety to elevate the community voices and concerns so that we can work together to create a safe community.”

Flint has seen a lot of gun violence in the past few months, so much so that there was a special city council meeting called to discuss solutions. Mayor Sheldon Neeley spoke about the task force at that meeting.

“Our task force has been engaged to be able to bridge the gap between residents, residents’ concerns, and the way that we police our community,” Neeley said. 

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...