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Michigan State Police seek to combat rising crime

Colonel Kriste Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police
Colonel Kriste Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police

The FBI ranks Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw among the ten American cities with the highest violent crime rates.

Kriste Etue is the Director of the Michigan State Police.  She says the lack of good jobs and the decline of police officers in the state has an impact on crime.

"The state of Michigan has lost nearly 3,400 police officers, so I’m sure that has some impact on the crime in our various cities."

The Michigan State Police is reaching out to returning veterans to join the state police force.

Colonel Etue says, "We have returning to the state of Michigan over 3,000 service men and women and they transition very well into the ranks of law enforcement. They have that military demeanor, and we are paramilitary organization as well, so their structure and training coincide very nicely with public safety.”

Crime rates won't decline overnight. That's why Etue believes, "It’s important that we pay a great deal of attention to the prevention efforts because we can never build enough prisons, and have enough jails, and have enough police officers until we start addressing  what is the root cause in our communities."

"The beauty of a state police is we have no boundaries police agency. We can travel anywhere in the state of Michigan… we can assist our local partners being very mobile, moving in and out of counties, and also the intelligence that’s being gathered through data we can respond to that [crime] and mobilize very quickly," Etue says.

Governor Rick Snyder will present a special address on public safety on Wednesday in Flint.

Zoe Clark is Michigan Public's Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.
Mercedes Mejia is a producer and director of Stateside.
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