Saginaw residents react to SVSU crime study

New study shows crime went down in the city of Saginaw from 2010 to 2015. (Photo credit: Amanda Chodnicki)

Crime is going down in Saginaw and some of its neighboring communities, according to a new study by a pair of Saginaw Valley State University professors.

The five-year study shows the city of Saginaw, Buena Vista, Bridgeport and Saginaw Township all have seen a decrease in major crimes from 2010 to 2015.

While some people said they don't see the change, others, including Saginaw business owner Sal Hamd and Saginaw resident Venes Weston Junior, said they do.

"So far, knock on the wood we have no problem," Hamd said.

Weston agrees.

"Every time you heard a pop, you were ducking," he said. "But now basically a pop is a fire cracker."

They said they believe an increase in police presence is behind the decrease in crime.

"The police and the sheriff be around all the time," Hamd said.

Weston said he thinks the demolition of abandoned homes has also helped.

"I used to drive down my street and I had five of them in one block," he said. "That had a lot to do with the crime."

Both echo the recent SVSU study and believe the crime has gone down.

According to the study, major crimes in the city dropped by 80 percent, meaning there was a decline in the most serious offenses.

Those included homicides, assaults, burglaries and robberies.

Similarly, the study revealed major crimes fell by nearly 19 percent in Buena Vista.

"I agree with it," Detective Sgt. Greg Klecker with Buena Vista Twp. Police said. "I think that's it been slowly declining."

While officials in Buena Vista said they've seen the change first-hand, some residents in Saginaw said they don't think that's the case.

"For a while, it seemed like it was getting better," Saginaw resident Jackie Shaler said. "But it seems like the kids now they just don't care and don't have the value of the dollar."

Shaler said her family has recently been a victim to theft.

She said it's a trend that happened for years now, so they decided to put up security cameras around their home because they don't feel safe.

One big part of the study's findings was that demolitions alone were responsible for 20 percent of the decrease in crime.

Klecker said that correlation made sense to him because blighted properties are often hot spots for crime.

For a closer look at the study, click here.

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