Neighborhood crime watch uses social media to track, report crim - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Neighborhood crime watch uses social media to track, report crime

MICHIGAN - (CNN) Residents of Flint, Michigan are working together to keep their city safe.

Flint, a city in ruins is trying to rise from the ashes.

Kat Van Sickle is one of the organizers of the community group Flint Police Operations. They aren't the police force but citizens fed up with rampant crime.

What she and 20 other volunteers are doing...posting police scanner traffic to Facebook and Twitter. A modern day crime blotter...everything from gunshots to suspicious characters in the neighborhood, giving citizens the power to connect to their neighborhoods and community.

She has a lot to worry about. The FBI calls Flint the most violent city in the country. Last year 55 murders, a huge number for a city this size, but Police Chief Alvern Lock says the most cops he can get on the street here at any one time is 21. 

Driving high crime here...the lack of hope, the lack of jobs. As the auto industry shut down and moved away so did the work.

Mayor Dayne Walling says the city is slowly - very slowly - coming back.

"We are going through that slow gut wrenching process of changing our community for the better and making sure there is a stable foundation here that the future generations can build on," says the mayor.

With 32,000 friends and followers Kat Vansickle has big plans for Flint Police Operations.

Leaving the keyboard behind and hitting Flint's mean streets in an all out effort to make them a little kinder.

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