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Flint police to crack down on "parking lot parties"

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The party’s over for parking lot partiers in Flint.

Police Chief James Tolbert says convenience store parking lots have become a place to hang out for some people. He says this often means drinking, illegal drug use and prostitution.  

Tolbert says it often leads to serious criminal problems.

“We’ve seem homicides happen at stores.  Shootings, assaults, and just simply because people are just hanging out,” says Tolbert.

To address the problem, he says Flint police will start working with store owners.  

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
“The parking lot partying stops today," says Flint police chief James Tolbert

In the past, store owners had to be present to request Flint police officers to remove people loitering on the property. 

Tolbert says store owners fearing retaliation were less likely to call the police. 

Now, a new rule will allow Flint police officers, without needing the store owner’s involvement, to order people to leave the parking lot or face trespassing or loitering charges. 

Former Flint Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose signed an ordinance allowing the police department to enter into these kinds of agreements. But that ordinance does not take effect until November.  

Tolbert says he wanted to begin the process now to reduce criminal activity during the summer.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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