A new $850,000 grant will help the Flint Police Department solve cold cases, get illegal guns off the street, develop a witness protection program and more, ABC12News reports. Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced the grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation on Tuesday to boost the police department's efforts to combat violent crime in Flint. Neeley said he requested additional help from the community after a violent Memorial Day weekend at the start of summer with four shootings reported over about 24 hours.
“I am thankful for the Mott Foundation’s support in addressing our urgent need to curb violent crime in our city,” Neeley said. “This grant provides crucial tools for increasing the capacity of our personnel and enhancing our public safety infrastructure.”
The latest crime statistics from the Flint Police Department show a 25% decrease in violent crimes so far in 2022 compared to this time last year. But Neeley pointed out that violent crime rates remain too high citywide. The grant will provide funding for five major initiatives. A gun bounty program, which will allow residents to sell automatic weapons to the Flint Police Department for cash on the spot with no questions asked. Neeley said all weapons collected from the program will be destroyed. Three analysts in the Flint Police Department Intelligence Center, who can monitor live surveillance cameras and a fleet of drones 24 hours a day. Police credit the center for stopping a potential attack the General Motors complex in Flint earlier this month. A new cold case unit staffed by retired police officers and detectives, who will target unsolved crimes. A new witness protection program to reduce the risk for people who provide incriminating evidence in violent crime cases. Increased overtime pay for Flint police officers to help ensure adequate staffing remains on duty at all times.