Updated with Correct Time
The City of Flint Police Department is inviting business owners who operate convenience stores to discuss ways of making Flint neighborhoods safer at a Monday, July 27 meeting. The meeting will be held at 11:00am in the City Hall Dome, accessible by the Seventh/Stevens Street parking lot entrance behind the South Building. The focus on the meeting will be ways to keep trespassers such as loiterers, shoplifters, drug dealers and other individuals engaged in illegal activity from impeding shoppers and otherwise presenting a threat to the public well-being.
Police Chief James Tolbert stated in a letter to business owners that “Our goals are to improve communication among and between business owners at all levels, create and maintain an environment that supports safe and healthy neighborhoods, and re-establish a city-wide sense of community with a shared responsibility.” Chief Tolbert added that revenue is often lost due to residents being afraid to shop in areas where illegal activity is occurring.
In May a similar meeting was held in the City Hall Dome with party store owners to discuss an ordinance change that allows police to act in matters of trespassing and loitering, thereby taking the onus off of the property owners. Previously property owners needed to be present in order to make such complaints against offenders. The ordinance will take effect in November of 2015 and will become standard for all new business licenses granted within the City of Flint. In the meantime, business owners can sign an affidavit agreement with police granting them the power to act on their behalf. Participants also receive a sticker to display in their storefront windows letting the public know on their participation in the program.