Flint Police begin new initiative Operation: Inside Out - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint Police begin new initiative Operation: Inside Out

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/02/14) - Flint's police chief pitches it as a way to maximize manpower.

He rolled out the new initiative, called Operation: Inside Out, Friday.

It temporarily increases the department's presence and coverage simply by shifting officers, and their duties, around for the day.

"We have a lot of people who call constantly who say, 'I have a problem, I have a problem there,'" said Flint Police Chief James Tolbert. "We have a lot of people calling about traffic, speeding."

So that's where they started. The initiative puts sworn officers, usually assigned to inside administrative jobs, outside in the field.

"We can put anywhere from nine to 18 cars out in a patrol force," Tolbert said. "We can do it in two shifts. We can do it in one shift. We can spread it out. They'll be out there once every week going forward."

ABC12 rode along with Flint Police Sergeant Pat Brady.

"It's not always about enforcement. It's about also being a community policing officer and checking on people and making sure everything is OK. Sometimes just having a conversation with people and contacting people," Tolbert said.

Tolbert was out Friday, too.

"We're going to give the officers that are out there everyday, give them a breather," he said. "It's a way that we can connect with the community, let them know that we're out there."

Ramon Perez, working outside on the city's north side, noticed the extra coverage.

"I thought somebody had got robbed or something," he said.

Sharmaine Johnson didn't see the cruisers, but heard about them.

"I think it's great. I think it's real great because we need more police out here," Johnson said. "I hope they put more out here. We need a lot of them out here."

Tolbert acknowledged it may "slow down" some administrative duties the officers have to do, but said it's important to the mission that they're out doing special operations.
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