Flint mayor: Crime data sample shows need for closing businesses early

One business accounts for 193 calls to 911 so far this year
The Flint Police Department
The Flint Police Department(Michael Nafso/WJRT)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A sample of police response and crime data from this year shows the need to close liquor stores and gas stations by 9 p.m., according to Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.

The Flint Police Department conducted an analysis of crime data involving 24 liquor stores and gas stations around the city -- three each in the city’s four quadrants. The 24 businesses, most of which are open until 2 a.m. or 24 hours a day, collectively accounted for more than 1,000 calls to 911 from Jan. 1 to Oct. 12.

One business alone was the scene of 193 calls so far this year, Neeley said. He believes the sample represents less than one-quarter of the number of gas stations, liquor stores and convenience stores in Flint.

Neeley backs an ordinance proposed by Second Ward Councilman Maurice Davis to close all gas stations, liquor stores and convenience stores by 9 p.m. to prevent crime. Davis announced the proposed law after an 18-year-old woman died earlier this month in a shooting while driving by the BP gas station near Clio Road and Myrtle Avenue on Flint’s north side.

“In difficult times, difficult decisions need to be made,” Neeley said. “It is important for us to have additional dialogue around this important issue.”

He said Flint police noted a reduction in crime while the city was under an evening and overnight curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and April.

Neeley and the Flint City Council are seeking public input before voting on the proposed ordinance limiting business hours. Several public hearings will take place later this year.

“Looking at the sample of liquor stores and gas stations, it is clear that these businesses are hotspots for criminal activity,” said Flint Police Chief Terence Green. “I appreciate the City Council’s consideration of all tools that help us keep residents safe.”

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