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Flint, MI– The Flint Police Department is operating out of four mini stations around the city, with a fifth on the way, as part of an effort to combat violent crime.
Mini stations at the Dort Mall, Midway Townhomes, and the corner of University Avenue and Chevrolet Avenue have reopened, with another opening at the Hasselbring Senior Center, according to the city’s public safety update from Sept. 9. Another mini station at Bishop Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard is being renovated.
“It increases the footprint in the community around the city of Flint,” Sgt. Tyrone Booth said. “It provides direct access to the individuals in those locations or near the locations where those substations are. So an individual won’t have to come downtown to the police station to get questions answered about whatever they’re experiencing.”
At the mini station on University and Chevrolet, city employees have begun cleaning and getting the station ready for service. Volunteers will be manning the stations, and are set to be trained on September 15 and 16.
Once the mini stations are up and running, residents can come to the ones near them to file complaints, request help, and get in contact with the police.
“If they’re having a difficult time contacting someone here at the police department, so perhaps a complaint was filed and they have an investigator, they’ll be able to get the numbers, and make calls for them to try to get those contacts made,” Booth said. “But yeah, it increases the visibility in those areas, the police visibility, and this also gives citizens and residents, different ways that they can have direct contact with the police department.”
Beverly Lewis, the executive director of the Hasselbring Senior Center, says she’s really excited about the station opening up in the center, and thinks it will get a lot of use.
“A lot of our seniors, they’re really looking forward to it because sometimes they want to talk to officers, but they don’t want to be targeted,” Lewis said. “You know, I don’t want to have a police officer come to my house and talk to me because then somebody might think I’m telling on them, that sort of thing. They’ll have the safety of being here within the center and having that privacy.”
Reopening the mini stations was part of one of the six executive orders Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced when he declared a State of Emergency in the city due to gun violence on July 23.
The second executive order is to “Establish partnerships with grass roots and community outreach programs to combat gun violence,” and includes that police mini stations be “activated and created” throughout the city.