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City of Flint declares state of emergency against gun violence

<i>WNEM</i><br/>Mayor Sheldon Neeley is declaring a state of emergency against gun violence in the city of Flint.
WNEM
WNEM
Mayor Sheldon Neeley is declaring a state of emergency against gun violence in the city of Flint.

By STEPHEN BOROWY, RACHEL MCCRARY

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    FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — Mayor Sheldon Neeley is declaring a state of emergency against gun violence in the city of Flint.

Neeley made the announcement during a press conference at Flint City Hall on Friday morning, July 23.

The city is trying to hiring at least 20 more law enforcement positions at the Flint Police Department, Neeley said. He added the city is looking for not only police officers but fire personnel.

Police Chief Terence Green commended Neeley for declaring the state of emergency, adding the city is experiencing some type of gun violence on a daily basis.

Green said this crime wave must end.

“I consider this under a gun violence crisis,” Green said.

City of Flint crime data shows that homicides are up by 40 percent from last year. There have been 158 non-fatal shootings this year in comparison to 88 in 2020. That is an 80 percent increase.

The mayor’s plan includes making investments in community resource centers and awarding grants to support community crime watch.

Councilman Santino Guerra called on the community for their help to curb the crime that Flint faces. Guerra said the community has to step up especially regarding violent crimes.

“We also need your help. We can’t do stuff unless the public speaks up,” Guerra said.

The city has seven days to operate under this emergency declaration with additional resources.

This state of emergency declaration allows the city to get additional money from the American Rescue Plan. $94 million dollars has already been allocated to Flint.

The declaration would include an additional $2.5 million to address gun violence

“The circle of retaliation violence must stop,” Neeley said.

The money will help create an emergency response team or ERT according to the mayor. Working to reduce crime with special law enforcement officers, detectives, a medical professional, and even clergy.

“When an officer gets a call for a violent gun crime. That officer will make an assessment and they can make a call back at dispatch our commander will then make a decision to engage the ERT team,” Neeley said.

Some of the money will go to youth programs like pal. Neeley is aiming to reopen Haskell Community Center for Flint kids as soon as next week.

“We need to be proactive and how we’re going to be combating violence in our community and we must start with our young people,” Neeley said.

Dollars will also be given to the development of neighborhood watch groups.

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