Concerns Of Increased Crime In Face Of Layoffs

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

Lansing --- Crime is up in Lansing. That's according to FBI statistics. City officials say Lansing is still safe and they're working to keep it that way. But, impending layoffs could put that safety in jeopardy.

From 2009 to 2010 crime jumped across multiple categories: violent crime, rape, robbery, motor vehicle theft, to list just a few. But perhaps the biggest jump was in property crime and larcenies. Property crime increased by 7.5 percent and larcenies, 8.3 percent.

"The trend is concerning but crime is relatively low in Lansing and that's how we want to keep it," said Captain Ray Hall of the Lansing Police Department.

But with cuts to police looming and taking some officers off the street, it begs the question -- how long will Lansing stay "safe"?

"The best way to improve safety is to get neighbors involved," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. "It's about neighbors looking after neighbors."

Paul Johns has taken the mayor's advice. He's president of the Moores Park Neighborhood Organization.

"As neighbors we're always looking out for one another. If I hear a scream, I'm going to go check it out," said Johns.

He's committed to his neighborhood and to a responsibility that may grow as resources get cut.

"We're concerned as citizens that we may not have what we need but we haven't had a problem yet and I think we will continue to adapt."

Captain Hall says there are a variety of reasons for why Lansing has seen an uptick in crime.

"The more dangerous drugs are out on the street, the unemployment rate is impacting, the economy is impacting, a lot of people are struggling and with that, some will make bad choices and some are desperate."

In spite of layoffs, some say the city will not give up.

"We're not waving the white flag, we're not turning the city over," said Bernero.

"The resources may be less but we'll adapt," said Johns.

The number of police layoffs depends on concessions at this point. The mayor tells News Ten that those negotiations are on-going even though some layoff notices have already gone out.

To view the full FBI stats just click the link below.


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