4 shootings in 5 days: Flint police investigating spate of violence this week
Flint officers working more overtime to get more proactive in preventing violence
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Four shootings in Flint over five days left two people dead and two others critically injured.
The violence erupted around the city from Saturday through Wednesday this week. Flint Police Chief Terence Green said his department is working to get in front of it and keep the community safe.
The oldest person involved in the shootings this week is a 34-year-old suspect in Saturday’s murder. Green said more and more young people are caught up in the city’s gun violence over the past several years, but he can’t explain why.
But said authorities are working to do something about it with Flint police officers now working overtime on special assignments to keep more of them on the streets at one time. Officers plan to continue routine patrols and making traffic stops.
“These traffic enforcement initiatives allow us to make contact with those traffic violators, in turn initiating the traffic stop, conducting an investigation and recovering illegal firearms -- those that are wanted or are suspected of crimes. And it’s been very successful,” Green said.
Officers working overtime for these special assignments will focus on what he calls hot spots in Flint -- areas where they’ve seen an increase in gun violence. He said visibility is key to deterring crime.
Green said the effort is needed now because summer is approaching, when his department responds to a higher number of shootings. He believes this proactive effort will have an effect later.
When Flint police seize an illegal gun, the city destroys the weapon and makes sure it doesn’t end up back on the street or in the wrong hands.
Green said a broader effort is necessary to prevent gun-related crimes around Flint.
“Be transparent to the community and do our job,” he said. “And basically, we’re going to follow a rule of law, and hopefully by our actions we’re going to gain or continue to gain community trust, and that’s that’s the goal.”
Green said a lot of people have been dismissive of his officers over the last year. He’s asking for a little more cooperation, whether that’s being polite during a traffic stop or calling police if something looks suspicious.
Green said his department can’t fight crime alone. They need the community’s help.
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