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Flint police hope new intel center will reduce response times

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
"It’s not good enough when you’ve got people waiting 20 and 30 minutes for police to respond to a call," says Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson";s:

The Flint police department is turning to technology to help reduce response times to calls.

Flint’s new police intelligence center will monitor closed circuit cameras in businesses and other locations around the city. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for data on criminal suspects.

Police Chief Tim Johnson expects the center will help officers get to the scene of crimes faster.

“We’re doing excellent for responding to crimes,” says Johnson. “But, of course it’s not good enough when you’ve got people waiting 20 and 30 minutes for police to respond to a call.”

Johnson says more than technology, Flint needs more police officers.

He says budget cuts have left the department at roughly a third the size it should be.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver agrees. She says technology is only a tool.

“I would hope people wouldn’t see technology and think that replaces people,” says Weaver. “They’re working with not enough bodies out there.”

Despite some improvement in recent years, the FBI still ranks Flint high on its list of cities for violent crime.