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Battle Creek hopes to combat perception of violence
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The city of Battle Creek has appeared on a few top 100 lists of violent cities, including violence against women.
Now, city leaders are hoping to set the record straight, saying they want to put perceptions that their city is violent to bed.
At a meeting Monday night, the public weighed in on the issue as well.
For about an hour during public comment Monday night, some Battle Creek neighbors argued police aren't doing enough to get crime numbers down, while others defended them, saying it's up to everyone to stand up against violence in the community.
A couple of national studies have ranked Battle Creek among the most violent cities, but the City Manager argued on Monday that the numbers don't add up.
He claims the studies included crimes in surrounding townships, but attributed all of it to the city of Battle Creek, which is misleading.
Some neighbors at the meeting however, said the city is whitewashing the numbers when they should be addressing them.
Police Chief Jackie Hampton said that while he agrees the numbers are a little misleading, there is certainly room for improvement.
"Part of our mission statement talks about trying to make our community a place where every citizen feels safe," Chief Hampton said. "That's the goal; we fall short of that, like any organization, and the goal is to get there."
While Hampton says the department now better understands the community's concerns, but some neighbors left the meeting Monday night with only questions.
The commission is planning to come up with a way to chart the progress they're making toward reducing crime in the city.
They plan to take it up at their next meeting.