Your Town Can Become ‘Flint Town’

 

As cities across the United States are seeing crime rates rise due to defunding police departments, Soros prosecutors, cashless bail, decriminalizing heroin and meth, as well turning parks and sidewalks into campgrounds, there was a warning that was ignored by city governments across the United States.

Flint Town is an eight-episode documentary about policing in Flint, MI. Flint Town went from a 300-officer police department to a 98-officer police department. 98 officers have to provide 365/24 hours a day service to residents to include investigative service. This means long response wait times and no follow-up criminal investigations.

Flint Town started filming in November 2015. It was completed in early 2017, and released in March 2018. Quality of life issues in policing is like filling potholes. Filling potholes is not as glamorous as ribbon-cutting ceremonies for some city governments. City governments are filled with monument builders and virtue signallers. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York have become Flint Town. You could include Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas in this list. For some reason, city officials are to the left of Bernie Sanders.

Flint Town was a warning of what was to come for residents in cities across the United States.

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Published in Policing
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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Coming to your town soon in Biden’s America!

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    “Fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    • #2
  3. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Haven’t seen the movie but have driven through the town.     I wouldn’t want to to be a Police Officer there.   If I lived there,  I would move somewhere else.

    • #3
  4. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I lived in the Detroit area for 20+ years in the 80s/90s – Flint (along with Detroit) was in a horrible place back then

    It was hollowed out when America decided to outsource the supply chain to the CCP

     

    • #4
  5. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Interesting.   I have not seen it, so I’m asking…

    I get the feeling that this documentary covers the results of the failure of Flint.  Is it “apocalypse porn” like the French photographers’ Ruins of Detroit, or does it also go into the causes and solutions?

    Wikipedia provides a Flint Town Episode Guide.

    Note that since 1970, 58% of the population of Flint, MI has left.

    • #5
  6. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Flint Town takes a look at the failures of a city government that include a problem that was unique to Flint, the lead problem in the city’s water supply.

    Having been in the arena myself when I see a city like Portland, or any number of cities across the US what I see are city governments that have failed. This includes cities that are, or were more financially stable than Flint, Michigan that are failing, and crime rates that have risen. They either pretend that there is no problem, or spend their time finger pointing, rather than any self-awareness that their policies have failed.

    • #6
  7. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Down town San Antonio (SA), and pretty much everything inside the 410 loop, have already became a third  world country.  SA is not so much a city as a big little town, and city hall is ran by developers.  It’s main source of income is property and sales tax, This was OK as long as the city continued to grow; however, once the Base Realignment and Closer (BRAC) came in (1991-1995) and shut down the big military bases (Kelly AFB, Brooks AFB and associated support bases like Hondo Air Field) then down sized what was left and re-align everything under Ft. Sam Houston (estimates are between 23,000 – 30,000 civil service jobs were lost – this does not include the associated and support non-government jobs), the city never recovered.  In 2002 Toyota open a plant to produce trucks and SUVs; however, most of that operations has been moved to Mexico.

    Other manufacturing, medical research, and “high tech” businesses have located to SA, but they don’t hire near the numbers of people the Federal government did to keep the city going (the Federal government and USAA are the largest employers).  Additionally, these new companies did not hire locally for the more skilled higher paying management and technical jobs.  The majority of jobs in and around SA are in the service-leisure and hospitality industries.  So the city now depends on tourism for more then half it’s tax base.  Because of that, the mayor and city counsel have a “bartender’s” view of city economics (more wet tee-shirt contests and drink specials), to bring revenue in.  Most visitors stay within the “River Walk,” or are shuttles out to the high end shopping areas like the “Alamo Quarry Market.”  The area around the Alamo Plaza is relatively safe during the day. 

    San Antonio continues to grow geographically, but it can not support the necessary infrastructure to keep up with the growth, and the cities only plan is to raise sales taxes.  I think the city has passed a tipping point now, and considering just how much San Antonio has sprawl out, the contraction of the city will not be a pretty sight (as already seen between the 410 loop and downtown, and between the 1604 loop and 410 – south of U.S. 90).  By the way and just as a side, San Antonio is a Sanctuary City and homeless friendly destination.  Oh, I forgot to mention, San Antonio has gender neutral public bathrooms.  What could go wrong?

    • #7
  8. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Having been in the arena myself when I see a city like Portland, or any number of cities across the US what I see are city governments that have failed. This includes cities that are, or were more financially stable than Flint, Michigan that are failing, and crime rates that have risen. They either pretend that there is no problem, or spend their time finger pointing, rather than any self-awareness that their policies have failed.

    Indeed, failed city governments.  And there seem to be a lot of them.

    But I’m interested in finding the specific mechanisms of failure.   (`Can’t help it, I’m an engineer.)  I researched and proposed one such mechanism in my post Saving Our Cities.  But maybe there’s more.

    And I’m interested in strategies that can fix it.

    • #8
  9. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Having been in the arena myself when I see a city like Portland, or any number of cities across the US what I see are city governments that have failed. This includes cities that are, or were more financially stable than Flint, Michigan that are failing, and crime rates that have risen. They either pretend that there is no problem, or spend their time finger pointing, rather than any self-awareness that their policies have failed.

    Indeed, failed city governments. And there seem to be a lot of them.

    But I’m interested in finding the specific mechanisms of failure. (`Can’t help it, I’m an engineer.) I researched and proposed one such mechanism in my post Saving Our Cities. But maybe there’s more.

    And I’m interested in strategies that can fix it.

    Community policing would be a good start. This means city governments must stop using police officers as revenue collectors. No more warrants for arrest involving parking violations, or code violations. Failure to appear in court warrants on criminal matters is different.

    Police officers need to establish a relationship with residents. Learn the names of residents in your district. As painful as it might be to listen to the concerns of the residents in your district, if you can become “their officer” that’s a big step to establish some trust because you care about them and their neighborhood.

    • #9
  10. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Rōnin (View Comment):
    Down town San Antonio (SA), and pretty much everything inside the 410 loop, have already became a third  world country.

    San Antonio sounds like a different set of symptoms, though.

    During the time that the Flint lost 58% of its population, the population of San Antonio more than doubled.    So that’s not dying.

    And, say, the murder rate of Flint is roughly 4 times that of San Antonio.

    • #10
  11. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    It isn’t easy, but it can be done. The Z-Man scholarship program in Portland:

    • #11
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    I lived in the Detroit area for 20+ years in the 80s/90s – Flint (along with Detroit) was in a horrible place back then

    It was hollowed out when America decided to outsource the supply chain to the CCP

     

    Do you think if we had protectionist policies that kept out imported cars and auto parts that Detroit would still be the vibrant city it was in the 1950’s?  It seems like Detroit’s problems started long before China became a manufacturing and exporting powerhouse.  Perhaps a lot of companies left Detroit because Detroit drove them out.  A lot of those relocated factories didn’t move overseas, they moved to more hospitable places within the U.S.

    • #12
  13. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Seattle is on your list.

    From my personal blog this afternoon:

     

    https://rushbabe49.com/2022/09/23/welcome-once-again-to-joe-bidens-america/

     

     

    • #13
  14. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    They either pretend that there is no problem, or spend their time finger pointing, rather than any self-awareness that their policies have failed.

    The policies only fail because the local resources are insufficient to overcome decades of systemic obstacles, don’t you know. A candidate who vows to solve homelessness in six years, only to find the problem worse after eight, blames capitalism and mental health cutbacks and greedy landlords.

    The policies, being correct, cannot fail in a fair and just world, so the people have to fight back against the vast right-wing monolith that controls American society.

    But things are changing, I think. Here in the Twin Cities, St. Paul enacted rent control, which led to an immediate cessation of new construction and the instantaneous raising of rents to the top of the permitted level. Well:

    Less than five months after St. Paul’s citizen-authored rent control ordinance took effect, the City Council voted 5-2 to roll back the provisions that made it one of the most stringent policies in the country. 

    As part of a package of amendments passed by the council on Wednesday, low-income housing will be exempted; new construction will be exempted for 20 years; and rents may rise more after tenants move out. 

    Nationally, House Dems have actually had to pretend to like a bill that increases police funding. because they know they’re underwater on the public safety issue. Too little and too late, and it doesn’t undo the bizarre impression voters got that they’re not all that hot on the po-po. You can say it’s pre-election posturing that will be undone at the earliest possible opportunity, and you’d be right. But there was a period in 2020 when the Left was certain that the culture had shifted and was on their side. The masks came off. It’s fun to watch them try to fit them back on again.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Nationally, House Dems have actually had to pretend to like a bill that increases police funding. because they know they’re underwater on the public safety issue.

    Also, because national funding of local police is a continuation of the road to a police state, which was begun very tentatively by George H.W. Bush and greatly extended by Bill Clinton and some of those who came after him.

    I never ever took the “defund” slogan at face value. It always meant to take away local funding, and enact national controls to replace it. 

    • #15
  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Nationally, House Dems have actually had to pretend to like a bill that increases police funding. because they know they’re underwater on the public safety issue.

    Also, because national funding of local police is a continuation of the road to a police state, which was begun very tentatively by George H.W. Bush and greatly extended by Bill Clinton and some of those who came after him.

    I never ever took the “defund” slogan at face value. It always meant to take away local funding, and enact national controls to replace it.

    Regardless of the motivations for federal dollars going to local law enforcement, I don’t see why the federal government should be paying into my local police force.  As a general principle, the greater the distance between the taxpayer and where the money is spent, the more that will be wasted.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    They either pretend that there is no problem, or spend their time finger pointing, rather than any self-awareness that their policies have failed.

    The policies only fail because the local resources are insufficient to overcome decades of systemic obstacles, don’t you know. A candidate who vows to solve homelessness in six years, only to find the problem worse after eight, blames capitalism and mental health cutbacks and greedy landlords.

    The policies, being correct, cannot fail in a fair and just world, so the people have to fight back against the vast right-wing monolith that controls American society.

    But things are changing, I think. Here in the Twin Cities, St. Paul enacted rent control, which led to an immediate cessation of new construction and the instantaneous raising of rents to the top of the permitted level. Well:

    Less than five months after St. Paul’s citizen-authored rent control ordinance took effect, the City Council voted 5-2 to roll back the provisions that made it one of the most stringent policies in the country.

    As part of a package of amendments passed by the council on Wednesday, low-income housing will be exempted; new construction will be exempted for 20 years; and rents may rise more after tenants move out.

    Nationally, House Dems have actually had to pretend to like a bill that increases police funding. because they know they’re underwater on the public safety issue. Too little and too late, and it doesn’t undo the bizarre impression voters got that they’re not all that hot on the po-po. You can say it’s pre-election posturing that will be undone at the earliest possible opportunity, and you’d be right. But there was a period in 2020 when the Left was certain that the culture had shifted and was on their side. The masks came off. It’s fun to watch them try to fit them back on again.

    All of that “failure” can be blamed on the “wreckers” of course, those who refuse to accept their just fate.  It will never be acknowledged that these always-failed leftist policies simply don’t/can’t work.

    • #17
  18. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    . . .  By the way and just as a side, San Antonio is a Sanctuary City and homeless friendly destination. Oh, I forgot to mention, San Antonio has gender neutral public bathrooms. What could go wrong?

    So there is no chance of making a few bucks installing urnials in the women’s restrooms?

    • #18
  19. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):
    Down town San Antonio (SA), and pretty much everything inside the 410 loop, have already became a third world country.

    San Antonio sounds like a different set of symptoms, though.

    During the time that the Flint lost 58% of its population, the population of San Antonio more than doubled. So that’s not dying.

    And, say, the murder rate of Flint is roughly 4 times that of San Antonio.

    Totally true, but that growth is in the lower middle and disadvantaged poor classes, mostly un-skilled and poorly educated segment of the population (a large percentage of which are not “legal” U.S. citizens).  Yes the population grew, but the tax base to support the city revenue did not (more people – less money).  As to why the murder rate is higher in Flint then San Antonio I can not answer; except to add these two statistical charts from statisticalatlas.com.  You may draw your own conclusions from there, but I would also note that the Northern Mexican Cartels own South Texas, the HI-35 corridor, and major Texas urban hubs, and they learned long ago not to do too much of their killing within city limits – draws too much notice.

    Demographic Statisticalatlas for San Antonio TX.

    Demographic Statisticalatlas for Flint, Michigan

    So yes, San Antonio is different from Flint in their perspective social/economic declines, with Flint in the leader position behind Detroit.  Bottom line, our country is in one hell of a shape.

    • #19
  20. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    According to Zillow, the lowest-priced home in Flint, MI is $6,500:

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4139-Coggins-Ave-Flint-MI-48506/73961752_zpid/

    And for Rōnin, the lowest-priced home in San Antonio, TX is $45,000:

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/119-Nancy-Pl-San-Antonio-TX-78204/2061467402_zpid/

     

     

     

    • #20
  21. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Perhaps a quick look at a Flint city council meeting would explain things:

    • #21
  22. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    According to Zillow, the lowest-priced home in Flint, MI is $6,500:

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4139-Coggins-Ave-Flint-MI-48506/73961752_zpid/

    And for Rōnin, the lowest-priced home in San Antonio, TX is $45,000:

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/119-Nancy-Pl-San-Antonio-TX-78204/2061467402_zpid/

     

     

     

    I’m guessing a $6,500 house in Flint would not be considered acceptable for human occupancy, as-is.  So maybe you can buy it for $6,500 but would have to do a lot of work before it could be occupied.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Nationally, House Dems have actually had to pretend to like a bill that increases police funding. because they know they’re underwater on the public safety issue.

    Also, because national funding of local police is a continuation of the road to a police state, which was begun very tentatively by George H.W. Bush and greatly extended by Bill Clinton and some of those who came after him.

    I never ever took the “defund” slogan at face value. It always meant to take away local funding, and enact national controls to replace it.

    Regardless of the motivations for federal dollars going to local law enforcement, I don’t see why the federal government should be paying into my local police force. As a general principle, the greater the distance between the taxpayer and where the money is spent, the more that will be wasted.

    The motivation doesn’t matter so much as the effect.  Federal funding leads to federal control. The people doing the funding may not all be doing it for that explicit purpose, but those who don’t have an instinctive loathing of central control are likelier to be friendlier to the idea. 

    Thankfully there is waste and corruption that sometimes can save us from the bad effects, at least for a time. 

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    According to Zillow, the lowest-priced home in Flint, MI is $6,500:

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4139-Coggins-Ave-Flint-MI-48506/73961752_zpid/

    And for Rōnin, the lowest-priced home in San Antonio, TX is $45,000:

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/119-Nancy-Pl-San-Antonio-TX-78204/2061467402_zpid/

     

     

     

    I’m guessing a $6,500 house in Flint would not be considered acceptable for human occupancy, as-is. So maybe you can buy it for $6,500 but would have to do a lot of work before it could be occupied.

    I just wish the roads in Genessee County (the county in which Flint was located) were better. Last time I tried to ride through there to Port Huron (in 2014) I didn’t have a good time. The roads got a lot better as soon as I got out of the county, which is not an uncommon situation in counties that have a large urban population.  A few weeks ago I took a different route to Port Huron.  But maybe I could have gone through Flint this time, because now I use RideWithGPS to help with routing.  It provides heat maps to show the routes that other riders use in the area. 

    Some years ago (in my pre-bicycling era) a daughter of my godmother was a hospital administrator in Flint, and she lived in a pretty nice neighborhood with more expensive homes.  But those neighborhoods have streets that are cul de sacs that don’t provide many routes across the city. 

    • #24
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