Mayor's Office

Crime is down 17% in Flint thanks to public safety initiatives taking guns off the streets

FLINT, Mich.—As crime continues to trend down in Flint, the City is highlighting the work that has been done to take guns off the streets.

Today Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley gave the community a look at a storage room where about 3,000 guns are ready to be destroyed.

The majority of the weapons were seized during police investigations, and some were surrendered by citizens during gun bounty programs.

Mayor Neeley attributes a 40% decrease in homicides since 2021 and a 17% decrease in overall crime this year to the Flint Police Department’s robust efforts to take guns off the street, along with many other law enforcement strategies.

After holding weapons for several months while the Michigan State Police (MSP) worked to find a new method for gun destruction, the City is preparing to resume its partnership with MSP. Officials are making plans to clear out the guns and have them destroyed as part of Mayor Neeley’s Safe and Clean Summer Initiative.

“We are in conversations with Michigan State Police to resume our partnership in accordance with state law,” Mayor Neeley said. “We are ensuring that we have a level of guarantee that these weapons will be destroyed and never resurrected to harm anyone in Flint or any other community. When we are satisfied with that guarantee, we will move forward to transport these weapons to their final resting place.”

State law gives municipalities limited options for disposing of confiscated and surrendered firearms. They can sell the weapons through federally licensed dealers—a practice Mayor Neeley halted in 2020 and condemns as de facto arms dealing. Or municipalities can turn their firearms over to the Michigan State Police for destruction.

When Flint’s homicide rate spiked in 2021, Mayor Neeley declared a gun violence emergency and followed it up with a set of public safety initiatives.

Through grant funding, the Flint Police Department has implemented a cold case unit, a witness protection program, overtime pay for officers, and 24/7 operation of its intelligence center.

“We have such a bright future in this community, and we need everybody to embrace the vision and embrace the dream,” Mayor Neeley said. “We’re getting ready for a great summer with jobs for youth, our park equity program ensuring all neighborhoods have great places for recreation, and so much more on the horizon. Flint is a strong community and we are getting stronger every day.”