LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Building trust and public safety was the focus of a meeting between members of the community and leaders of our city and state Tuesday night at Pattengill Middle school.
“I think we could all agree that establishing positive police community relations today, building trust with the citizens we serve, is critically important,” Director of Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said.
The goal was to strengthen the relationship between police and the community to promote an open dialogue so that everyone can work together to make the Capital City a safe place to live and work.
“This is about you tonight and you having an opportunity to get your input and get answers to your questions,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said. “Anytime we can get more blue in the city that’s wonderful. I can’t imagine any city not welcoming the state police they’re very community focused; the chief is working closely with them.”
The Secure Cities partnership was launched back in April and officials want to continue the conversation about proactive policing to simply keep crime out of the city.
“It’s not just about arrests, it’s not about writing tickets, it’s about the community programs that we have and it’s about building trust,” Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said.
After opening remarks, community members and law enforcement officials went into a room where they held a focus group.
The discussion was closed to the media, allowing people to talk freely about public safety and key officials listened.
“I think there’s been a good working relationship historically with the Michigan State Police,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “We just want to make that relationship stronger and better to the benefit of the citizens of Lansing and how do we build a stronger community and involve the citizens more and law enforcement.”
It’s a team effort that many hope will result in a victory in the fight against crime.
“My job is to make sure that I use all available resources and that’s the federal government, the state, the county, the local,” Chief Yankowski said. “When we work together as one, we’re stronger.”