"It seems like there's a little uptick," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero told News 10.
An uptick in crime, he says, punctuated by some high-profile incidents. But the mayor says the rise in crime is not unique to the city.
"This is true everywhere. There's no absolute safety," Bernero said. "So we have to create security and safety. The best way to do that is to be involved in your neighborhood."
We spoke with the mayor as he traveled between neighborhood events for National Night Out, including a stop in a neighborhood that awoke to news that a woman was found dead in nearby Hunter Park.
"It's sobering," neighborhood watch Co-coordinator Corie Jason said. "But on the other side of that, we're able to say, 'We don't want this here, this is happening, let's do something about it.' "
Jason says doing something about it comes easier because of social events like Night Out.
"It's important that we know each other and that we're connected," she said.
When neighbors can talk about their families and day to day life, Jason says, it's easier to talk about less pleasant subjects like combating prostitution. And of course, neighbors who know each other look out for each other.
The goal is the same in the city's Colonial Village neighborhood.
"People are just more of aware of whose in the neighborhood and what's going on in the neighborhood," said Anita Beavers, president of the neighborhood association.
Leaders like Beavers and Jason say they're saddened by the death of fellow community activist Ruth Hallman. But they say it won't deter them.
"In the really tough times you wonder, do I want to be really outspoken?" Jason said.
"But then you say this is my neighborhood, these are my children, tehse are my friends and I want this to be the best place I can be."
That's the attitude the mayor hopes will lead to neighborhoods that are stronger -- and safer.