(01/17/14) - More police officers are on the way for the city of Flint.
The news comes one day after Gov. Snyder's State of the State address, which highlighted a 16 percent drop in violent crime in Saginaw and 30 percent in Flint.
Flint's Emergency manager, Darnell Earley, and Police Chief, James Tolbert, credit the reduction to different agencies working together at the state, county and federal level.
"These public safety accomplishments that we're seeing and that the governor noted are due to an aggressive collaboration between many agencies, state county and federal levels," Earley said.
Friday morning, they highlighted some areas they want to concentrate on in order to help get those crime numbers down even more.
Tolbert talked about restructuring the police department by adding nine additional officers to the force. They have three coming into the department and plan to post the other six positions on Friday.
"I think we see a sense of moral is rising in the department. I think the officers do an outstanding job everyday and it's tough for us to give them the tools such as the ordinances. Support we can get from the council's public safety committee," Tolbert said.
The department and other police chiefs in Genesee County are also taking a close look at the number of burglaries taking place. It's something they believe will reduce crime even more.
"Such as pawn shops - what can we do with pawn shop and scrap metal dealers? Very soon we will see some proposals that we will be taking up with the committee to make sure that we can move forward and this will not be just a Flint approach, this will be a regional approach," Tolbert said. "We're all pleased obviously with the reduction of 30 percent in violent crime rates, but there's still a lot of work to be done."
"There's been a focus conservative effort with the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Department of corrections, many other state departments, but also state and local partnerships in terms of sheriffs, jails, other people. Prosecutors coming to the table, judges," Snyder said.
Residents say they've been waiting for this for quite some time.
"Hopefully the city will get better and we do need more police in the city," said Jennifer Ryan.
Ryan will get her wish soon.
"I think the future of the Flint Police Department is bright," Tolbert said. "I think we see a sense of morale is rising in the department. I think the officers do an outstanding job every day and it's up to us to give them the tools such as the ordinances or whatever support we can get from the council's public safety committee."
The chief is also using social media as a tool. That's something that will help the department, especially the new officers coming to the force.
ABC12 Main Station