Lansing Police address higher crime rates
FBI data shows Lansing has 9th highest crime rate
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Crime is up across the country, including in mid-Michigan. The FBI crime reporting data was released Monday for 2020. It shows Lansing has the 9th highest violent crime rate in the country.
Lansing’s interim police chief, Ellery Sosebee, told News 10 numbers are up for several reasons, including the pandemic and racial inequality riots across the country last year. He said that to get those numbers down, police need to get back to basics.
“We’re getting back out there and engaging back with our community,” said Sosebee.
Sosebee said a lot of the department’s crime prevention methods, like going to community events, didn’t happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said now officers are getting out more to rebuild relationships in the community.
“We need them to be our eyes and our ears. If you trust your police officers, you feel comfortable coming forward,” said Sosebee.
Sosebee said he’s trying to get more programs in place to help keep kids out of trouble. That’s something the Mikey 23 Foundation is already doing.
“We need more programs like that to stop some of the things in our time,” said Michael McKissic.
McKissic started the Mikey 23 Foundation after his son was killed. It offers construction industry training for kids, giving them trade skills and hopefully keeping them off the streets.
“We need to really grasp onto our youth give them a big hug and let them know we care about you and we want you to do best,” said McKissic.
He believes these programs could give kids an outlet that’s better for their growth and development, instead of committing crimes or joining a gang.
“We’re trying to get our youth to stop picking up these guns because we have numerous guns that are coming in our city and these young kids are getting a hold of them,” said McKissic.
And many stolen guns are on Lansing’s streets. The FBI data shows that, of the $85,000 worth of guns stolen last year, only $11,000 worth was recovered.
“That’s alarming. That’s something we have to deal with every day when we are out doing our job. knowing these weapons are out there,” said Sosebee.
The Lansing Police Department said it’s already getting more guns off the streets this year.
Since August, more than 400 guns have been recovered in the city. In 2020, 382 were recovered.
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