Snyder: FBI crime stats show more work needed in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw

Michigan Public Radio Network

New FBI crime numbers rank Flint and Detroit as the nation’s most-dangerous cities. Detroit’s rate of overall violent crimes dropped in 2011, but it still posted the nation’s second-highest murder rate. Flint also reduced the number of violent crimes, but still ranked as the most-violent city on a per-capita basis.

“We have cities in Michigan that are too high in crime and we need to continue to work that,” was the reaction from Governor Rick Snyder.

But the governor was quick to defend his administration’s crime-fighting record.

“I think most people can see that we have made some significant commitments,” he said. “Sometimes, it takes time to see those really work, but would I would say is, I don’t, we’re not going to stop where we’re at today.”

Snyder and members of his administration said the FBI numbers don’t reflect improvements that may have occurred last year and this year. He said Detroit, in particular, has been a high priority:

“A new police chief, new police vehicles,” he said. “There’s a lot of collaborations going on now, not just with state agencies, but with federal agencies, including the U.S. attorney, on how to address crime, and we’re looking at how we can do those kind of similar kind of steps in Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw.”

Those cities were targeted early in his administration as high-crime areas that need to be fixed. Flint and Pontiac were also takeover targets under the state’s emergency manager law. Snyder said Pontiac and Saginaw have unacceptably high crime rates, but notes they have dropped off the list of most dangerous cities.

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