FLINT, Mich. — Summertime is crime time. And this Michigan city is no exception.
“Research shows that there is an increase in crime during the summer, as opposed to the winter. One explanation for this is the warmer weather, which brings people out of their homes and into the streets,” University of Michigan, assistant professor of criminal justice Kimberly Bender said.
Investigative reporter Michelai Granham said it’s not a Flint issue to have increased crime during the summer.
“Across the country you can research crime rates to see trends and without a doubt, you will see an increase in crime, typically from April-August,” Granham said.
To combat the trend, the Flint Police Department conducted a mass hiring event January of 2016. Positions filled included, clerical jobs at the city’s downtown branch, as well as full and part time police officer positions. These positions were in addition to the volunteer reserve patrol officers.
“What you are seeing in Flint is not abnormal. You see the city’s police department trying to be proactive instead of waiting for an issue to arise, they are preparing themselves for what trends are predicting year in and year out,” Granham said.
Being proactive has worked for the city of Flint.
“Of course there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but violent crime I down. Flint is no longer in the top 10 of America’s more dangerous cities and I do believe that is a direct reflection of having a heavier, more active police presence,” Granham said.
Other suggestions to continue lowering the cities violent crime rate is community policing.
“This would involve police patrolling by foot or on bikes and interacting with the community. This allows the police and the people in the community to become familiar with one another. It also allows for police presence, which helps to deter crime,” Bender said.
The community getting involved and assisting police is another step in the direction.
“The community can assist by answering question the police may have. The community can also form a neighborhood watch and be on the lookout to report any suspicious behavior,” Bender said.
“Fixing an entire city wont happen overnight, but what I think we are seeing is a city that is doing what is necessary to get things right and if they stay on track, I think they will get it done,” Granham said.