Flint,Michigan is listed as the No.1 most dangerous city in the US according to a 2010 report, released by the FBI. It has a population of 111,657 and it has reported 8,641 crime incidents as of 2013.
According to a Business Insider , poverty rates and unemployment are contributing to the rise in crime. Budget cuts in the public safety department are also contributing factors.
One way to improve the safety of the city is by looking at what the safest city in america is doing.
I recently interviewed Greg Rushin to get his advice on how to keep a city safe.
Rushin is the Chief of Police in Plano, Texas; Plano is listed as the No.1 safest city in America according to Forbes.
“The citizens are the first line of defense against crime,” says Rushin.
“If we can educate them [citizens] to take basic safety measures, they will not be victims of crime.”
According to Rushin, safety measures could include things like: closing garage doors, removing valuable items from cars; or, in this case, installing an alarm system.
Rushin also believes that there is a direct correlation to how much and how well a city can engage its citizens.
“We have thousands of citizens who have graduated from our Citizens Police Academy,” said Rushin.
“We have over 200 citizen volunteers who patrol our streets, sit in sky watch towers, issue handicapped parking violations, etc”.
In a nutshell, Rushin also believes that there are more ways to to improve the safety of a city. These include : hiring the best employees, engaging citizens, studying crime, and having regular management meetings. As well as, using the best strategies; and, participating in task forces and joint ventures.
“We have been one of the safest cities in the country for many years, and we believe we have the winning formula,” says Rushin
Community is very important in a time period where many public safety jobs are being cut.
I recognize that those in the community will be affected by or may be committing these crimes. Thus, the city of Flint should invest more time and money into advertising programs such as their Flint Blue Badge Volunteer Corps.
Programs like these could reduce the amount of crime in the city . These programs will further explore why some people commit crimes ,and should also teach those who commit crimes, alternatives.
Another solution would be monthly meetings in areas where crime is high.
Law enforcement and members of this program, should make an effort to educate the youth and other members of the community.
Furthermore, I believe law enforcement should be more involved in the community. They should be helping to better the community through community service projects such as helping to maintain the community garden. These programs could help unite and uplift the community.