Homicides in Flint, Mi., are like a disease – one death often leads to another, then another, causing an “epidemic” of violent death, concludes a new study reported by the Flint Journal. A team from the Minneapolis-based Center for Homicide Research studied reports of Flint homicides to learn why 2010 was such a bad year for homicide. The conclusion? Homicide is contagious. Said researcher Dallas Drake: “Sometimes it's spread through revenge. Sometimes it's someone who is at a murder scene and becomes incensed and decides to become violent.”
Flint last year surpassed the previous record of 61 homicides set in 1986, logging 65 homicides as of Thursday night. “It appears that the city is becoming more and more dangerous as the year progresses, with shorter and shorter intervals emerging between homicides,” the study said. Mayor Dayne Walling said he agreed with much of the report. The study suggests new technology could help stem the violence, including shot-spotter technology, which can detect the occurrence of gunfire, more street cameras, and plate reader technology that can document license plates. The Flint Police Department has been historically slow in adapting new technologies. Walling said implementing new security cameras will be a priority in 2011.