Featured photo: Flint Police Det. Tyrone Booth speaks at a recent press conference of extreme importance.
Written by Tanya Terry, with photo by Tanya Terry
Leaders from the City of Flint said at a press conference held Feb. 7 that they collected over 200 “weapons of mass destruction” at three gun bounty events that happened within the past year.
This happened though a program that had the goal of taking and keeping dangerous weapons out of circulation.
According to Neeley, 10% of the 83 weapons collected at the most recent Feb. 3 gun bounty event, held at Cathedral of Faith Ministries Church of God in Christ, were stolen. He said the weapons would be destroyed.
Those who surrendered the gun were able to get cash in exchange.
Neeley pointed out the number one killer of Black men in America is gun violence.
He added: “That is very disturbing and very devastating to any one community. But definitely gun violence in any community, any nationality, it’s devastating to that family or that individual that falls victim to it.”
Neeley said he applauds levels of legislation that make sure we have safer communities across our country.
Flint’s gun bounty program targets weapons that cause the most harm and offers residents the street value of weapons that are in working condition. Flint’s program does not accept inoperable guns that do not pose an immediate threat to public safety.
Neeley also stated if a person looks at the weapons that have been collected, they will see they’re military style weapons that can do massive harm to the residents of the city of Flint if they’re ever discharged in a bad way.
Flint Police Det. Tyrone Booth pointed out the weapons collected have the ability to go through walls, wood, and cement.
Booth added: “So, they can cause great destruction and affect human life in a very negative way.”
The gun bounty events were paid for by private grants, but more funding will be needed soon to keep having the events without increasing taxes.
“We’re looking at trying to reapply for more grant dollars so it won’t be at any cost to the taxpayers of the city of Flint,” said Neeley.
Through grant funding, the Flint Police Department has implemented a cold case unit, a witness protection program, overtime pay for officers, and 24/7 operation of its intelligence center.
Additionally, since 2021, the City of Flint has seen a 40% decrease in homicides.