NEWS RELEASE   2/23/2010

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The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has awarded the City of Flint $1,150,000 to fund the city’s 21st Century Community Policing Program. The award will support a pilot program for one year beginning March 1, 2010.

The grant will enable the City of Flint to reinstitute neighborhood foot patrols and community policing strategies. At least 18 community police officers will be deployed across all nine of the city’s wards, including a foot patrol officer in every ward during second shift.

“This grant award is great news for the city of Flint and its residents. Community policing is a proven tool for effective crime fighting,” said Dayne Walling, Flint Mayor. “What’s so great about the 21st Century Community Policing effort is it will employ new strategies, new techniques, and new partnerships all working in concert resulting in a safer community.”

“My top priority for 2010 is reducing crime by at least 10 percent,” Walling said. “Community policing brings us one step closer to reaching that goal.”

The grant paves the way for the city to open and staff a police mini-station in each ward. Grant dollars also will be used to recruit and train volunteers for the mini stations; register and link all neighborhood crime watch, block clubs and neighborhood organizations; and provide crime prevention, legal and public safety presentations to the public through the city’s Police Department and Human Relations Commission.

With the C.S. Mott Foundation’s support, the community also will have access to the resources available through Michigan State University’s (MSU) School of Criminal Justice and the Michigan Regional Community Policing Institute.

“The partnership with MSU will provide evaluation, technical assistance, and specialized training for our public safety personnel,” said Mayor Walling.

The original Flint community policing program was initiated by the late Max A. Durbin, who as Flint’s chief of police conducted “listening sessions” with block clubs throughout Flint to better understand and improve police-community relations. In collaboration with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Flint Police Department created a community policing model that not only provided full law enforcement services, but emphasized the social service and problem-solving aspects of the patrol officer’s job. The concept became fully operational in 1979, when 22 foot patrol officers were trained and deployed to 14 areas of the city. In collaboration with MSU’s National Neighborhood Foot Patrol Center, established in 1982 with more than $1 million in C.S. Mott Foundation support, the Flint program served as a national model for public safety reform.

Flint’s Neighborhood Foot Patrol Program reduced calls-for-service by more than 43 percent and reduced crime by 8.7 percent during a period when crime rates in areas without a foot patrol officer were on the rise, according to a three-year evaluation conducted between 1979 and 1981 by MSU. That same evaluation also indicated that Flint residents who lived in areas patrolled by foot reported an increased perception of safety as well as increased motivation to become involved in neighborhood crime prevention.
The C.S. Mott Foundation has supported the concept of community policing since its inception in the late 1970’s. Between 1977 and 1983, the Foundation awarded more than $3 million to the city of Flint in support of the Neighborhood Foot Patrol, a community policing strategy that provided full law enforcement services while emphasizing the social service and problem-solving aspects of the patrol officer’s job. Additionally, the Foundation granted just over $2 million for national community policing efforts.

The C.S. Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy supporting nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. The Foundation, with year-end assets of approximately $2.1 billion, made 469 grants totaling $109.3 million in 2009.

For more information about the City of Flint 21st Century Community Policing program contact Dawn Jones, Communications Director, City of Flint (810) 237-2039.


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