NEWS RELEASE   2/20/2014

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Flint, Michigan – February 20, 2014 – The Flint Police Department is crediting information provided by the public in leading to the timely resolution of two recent criminal incidents. In each case, members of the community chose to get involved in the best way possible to help police. One incident involved the real time sharing of information through social media, while the other involved a combination of being in the right place, at the right time and doing the right thing.

The first incident happened on Saturday, February 15, 2014, when day shift Officer H. Green took a vehicle theft complaint from an address on Davison Rd. where a suspect or suspects stole a pickup truck. The victim posted the theft on his Facebook page. On Sunday, February 16, 2014 at around 8:48pm, Officers Surface and Balasko received a call to the area of Iowa St. and Broadway in reference to the stolen vehicle. The caller, who wished to remain anonymous, was a Facebook friend of the victim. The caller reported seeing the vehicle in that area, but officers were not able to locate it.

Approximately ten minutes later, another call came into dispatch in reference to the same vehicle. The second caller reported seeing the vehicle in the area of Taylor St. and Martin Luther King Ave. and was also a Facebook friend of the victim, which was how they were able to identify the vehicle. Officers spotted the vehicle in the area and stopped it in the 300 block of E. Jackson. Two subjects were placed under arrest for the stolen vehicle and, subsequently, for being in possession of crack cocaine, which added VCSA charges to one of the suspects in the vehicle. It is apparent from the sequence of events that the real-time information gathered from members of the public which was then shared with the Flint Police Department has brought a swift resolution to the situation and the ensuing confiscation of
illegal drugs.

In a second incident which happened on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 9:12pm, a Flint Police cruiser in the area of Pierson and Fleming roads was flagged down by a passerby in reference to a man with a gun. Officers spotted the suspect with a gun holding five victims at gunpoint and placed him under arrest. The suspect was arrested on charges of felony domestic assault, five counts of felonious assault, six counts of felony firearm and criminal sexual conduct. Two guns were collected as evidence and the suspect was lodged in the Flint City Lockup. As a direct result of citizen involvement and the presence of the officer in the area, five victims were rescued from further potential harm.

“The fast settlement of both incidents came as the direct result on citizens getting involved and sharing information with the police,” said Police Chief James Tolbert. “When the public acts as our eyes and ears in the community, we can more effectively deal with crimes as they happen. It is the hope of the Flint Police Department to expand on the success of this form of information gathering in the future.”

Emergency Manager Darnell Earley credited the Chief for his staunch support of community involvement. “This is the model of effective police work for urban core cities such as Flint,” said Earley. “When the community becomes actively involved in their own safety by relaying information to the police, then the work of the police is expedited more efficiently and the level of service rises. This model should be the norm we strive for as a city.”

The Flint Police Department asks that residents continue to be vigilant in reporting criminal tips to them, either by anonymously calling 1-800-SPEAK-UP or by calling 911 during emergencies. Residents can also use the online citizens’ police reporting system known as COPLOGIC on the City of Flint’s website:

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