Flint is not defined by 'Flint Town' series, mayor and police chief say

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FLINT (WJRT) 93/5/2018) - The "Flint Town" series that debuted on Netflix last week doesn't tell the whole story of the city's broad-based recovery over the past couple years, Flint's mayor and police chief say.

Mayor Karen Weaver and Police Chief Timothy Johnson issued a joint statement Monday responding to the eight-part documentary focusing on the Flint Police Department.

Weaver, who hasn't seen all eight episodes yet, said she is proud of the city's police officers.

“I hope viewers will see that despite all the challenges and obstacles they face, Flint police officers go out and do what they can to serve and protect our community, and that is something we should be proud of,” she said.

Johnson acknowledged the police department is understaffed and doing its best with severely limited resources for a city of Flint's size. But he said officers "do what we have to do to effectively police this city and keep the residents safe."

Camera crews followed Flint police during the height of the water crisis. Johnson inherited the project when he became police chief after a previous administration approved it.

He allowed filming to continue as a way of giving the world a close-up view of how Flint residents reacted during the water crisis and how police soldiered through with limited resources.

Weaver said "Flint Town" officers "some raw, ugly, but real truths" about the city's darkest hours during the water crisis.

“But, it is a very serious issue that impacted us all and the truth is not always pretty," she said. "Good or bad, this was our reality and we shouldn’t hide from it. Instead, we must learn from the mistakes from the past and prevent them from happening again."

However, Weaver said the horrors of the those days are long past. She pointed to improving crime rates as evidence police are doing the best they can with the assets that are available.

"We know this series does not tell the whole story. It does not focus on the amazing turn around and recovery that is starting to happen in the city," Weaver said. "So we all must help get the word out about how resilient the people of Flint are and that good things that are happening in Flint."

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