City selected for federal program to fight crime - WNEM TV 5

City selected for federal program to fight crime

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A city has a new ally in its fight against crime.

“We continue to struggle with violent crime that is just too high across the city of Flint,” said Mayor Dayne Walling said.

Flint is one of five cities selected by the U.S. Department of Justice to join the violence reduction network.

It's a group that uses multiple federal agencies to help fight the crime locally.

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert said it’s a big help for a city with little resources.

“When you have to do more with less, which we are doing now, it may be better if we can use some technology where we are expending some resources now where we don't have to, and we can focus on other calls,” Tolbert said.

For instance, the city will have access to FBI help for lab work, processing cellular data, use of digital billboards and more. 

“Find ways where we can use different types of smart policing, smart prosecution, so that we can target and make an effective impact on crime,” Tolbert said.

One of those smart policing tactics include spending time to analyze a criminal's social media. From there, they may be able to determine the next victim, or the next person to commit a crime.

“If we can go after and find one specific individual doing the shootings, often times they're related to many more that we deal with in the community,” said ATF Agent Alan Jakubowski.

With this new initiative, you won't necessarily see more patrol on the streets.

In fact, Tolbert hopes this initiative will lead to more community involvement to help reduce crime.

“I guarantee what we're doing behind the scenes will have a positive affect with what people will see our on the street,” Tolbert said.

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