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Flint police chief says crackdown on 'parking lot partying' is working

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint’s police chief says a crackdown on ‘parking lot partying’ is paying off. 

Convenience and party store parking lots have been a place to ‘hang out’ in Flint for years. But Police Chief James Tolbert says many people have been doing more than hanging out. The ‘parking lot partying’ has also included illegal drug use and prostitution.   Violent crime has also been an issue. 

Since last month, the Flint police department has been working with local convenience and party store owners to stop groups of people from ‘hanging out’ in their parking lots. The department gets an affidavit from the store owner permitting police officers to break up ‘parking lot parties.’ People who won’t leave can be charged with trespassing.

Since the end of the June when Flint police started the crackdown, six people have been arrested for trespassing/loitering at three Flint businesses.  Numerous other people have received warnings.   

Police Chief James Tolbert says since the crackdown began there have been no violent crimes at any of the participating stores.

“Obviously it is working and we’re going to expand on that when we start talking with the business owners to look at other ways we can go even further to make those areas safer,” says Tolbert, who’s scheduled to sit down with store owners Monday.

A new city ordinance formally establish the currently voluntary ‘affidavit’ program in November.  

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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