Community activist talks how to tackle Flint's loitering problem – WJRT

Reporter
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – Tackling Flint’s loitering problem.
It’s no secret several areas in the city are hot spots for large crowds and gatherings.
Those gatherings often times end up causing more crime activity in those areas.
Club Sunoco, Pasadena and Clio, and convenience stores in the city of Flint are magnets for large crowds and gatherings, especially between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m.
Flint City Council recently turned down a resolution that would close convenience stores between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. because some members believe the police enforcement just isn’t there.
« I think that that would have been a good step. I know the Flint police are doing everything they can to step up their patrols. This Club Sunoco thing is a total embarrassment to the city that we would even have a gas station/ liquor store serving at some sort of outdoor club venue in which people have been shot and killed, » said Chris Martin, a pastor on Flint’s north side and a community activist.
Some residents and business owners in some of these areas haven’t been too happy, and rightfully so.
They called for an increase in patrols, and Flint Police are delivering.
Earlier this month, the department announced they were getting a head start on some of their summer patrol initiatives.
ABC12 News specifically asked for some of the data that shows the department is doing what it set out to do.
Here’s what is known: Between February and March, the department’s special enforcement activity has netted 75 traffic stops, 66 arrests, more than two dozen speed violations and more than 100 other types of violations.
Certainly that enforcement helps. It’s also not the only solution, depending on who you ask.
« Yes, those convenience stores need to be closed down from 10-6. They have fostered illegal behavior, they have fostered all types of deviant behavior. Many of them, there is blight and they don’t clean up the parking lots, » said Martin. 
So what is the answer to solving the city’s loitering problem? Is there an answer?
Reporter
Mark Bullion is a reporter for ABC12 News on weekdays.
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