Flint, Saginaw again on FBI's 'Most Dangerous' list - WNEM TV 5

Flint, Saginaw again on FBI's 'Most Dangerous' list

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Final numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show Flint as the most violent city in America for the third consecutive year - but local officials say violent crime is down so far in 2013.

The FBI releases a list every year with cities reporting the most crime and lately some Mid-Michigan cities have constantly been at the top of the list. The list of 2012 crime statistics was released Monday.

Saginaw is ranked in at No. 3, with 27 homicides recorded in 2012, based on a population of 50,000 people or more.  

Outgoing Flint Emergency Financial Manager Mike Brown said last week that violent crimes are down 24 percent in 2013.

According to the FBI, the city of Flint had more than 2,700 violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) in 2012, the most per capital in cities with more than 100,000 residents. Sixty-three of those crimes were homicides.

Flint continues to struggle with violence despite a willingness by the community to increase public safety. Last year, voters approved a public safety millage of $5.3 million. That money has paid for seven more officers to patrol the streets. Seven more officers are currently training at the police academy and will be added to the force once they graduate.

In 2011, Saginaw recorded just eight homicides, but in 2012, the number went up to 27. So far in 2013, there have been 23 homicides, with 3 1/2 months left to the year. The FBI list states that 1,211 violent crimes occurred in 2012, which placed Saginaw third on the list.

Saginaw Mayor Greg Branch says crime is down about 13 percent this year.

As of July 1, the number of city police officers stands at 55, down from over 100 more than a decade ago. Right now, 19 state police troopers are assigned to patrol Saginaw's streets to help pick up the slack. Flint currently has 30 state troopers assisting in city patrols.

Earlier this year, Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his plan to fight crime in Michigan but with the top three of the nation's most violent cities here in the state, is his plan really working?

The governor says it will take time. "I think most people can see that we've made some significant commitments, sometimes it takes time to see those work, but what I can say is we're not going to stop where we're at, we're going to look at ways to continue to enhance and increase that commitment," says Snyder.

Officials in both Flint and Saginaw say it appears the governor's plan is working. They pointed to numbers that show violent crime in both cities has decreased so far this year.

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