Saginaw city, state police working with community to cut back on - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw city, state police working with community to cut back on crime

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(02/10/14) - The director of the Michigan State Police force said violent crime is down 16 percent in the city of Saginaw.

Monday night, state and city police held a public safety forum at Christ Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church with about 100 neighbors, pastors and business leaders.

Their goal - brainstorm ideas, work together and cut back on crime.

Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said there's been one homicide so far this year in the city of Saginaw, but by this time last year, there was nine.

They want to keep this positive momentum going.

"Our community and our law enforcement people have made some very key arrests and have put some very violent people behind bars," said Saginaw Mayor Dennis Browning.

"We are getting a lot more community feedback from victims and witnesses which is helping us solve a lot of crimes," said Saginaw Police Chief Brian Lipe.

Police say that positive relationship and trust with the community is key.

"Community policing, getting involved in neighborhood watch groups, citizens getting involved in their own neighborhoods," are a few ways to connect the police force with neighbors Browning said.

One of those programs is the Light up the City campaign, where police encouraged neighbors to turn on their porch lights and patrol the streets side by side with officers.

The chief said it's a success - and they want to expand on that.

"The eyes and ears of crime fighting really does go back to the community quite often so we have to work together," Etue said. "We're all in this together and I think our end goal is to make Saginaw one of the safest cities in Michigan."

Last week Gov. Snyder said he wants to set aside money in the state budget for police.

Etue tells us they'd like to add 100 more troopers - and there's a good chance they'll end up in cities like Saginaw.

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