FLINT (AP) – Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is among 18 mayors who met with President Barack Obama to discuss strategies to reduce youth violence.
Walling said much of the discussion at the White House on Tuesday focused on the causes of violence, and many called for more early childhood education, adult literacy programs and parental support.
The Flint mayor also attended a meeting led by Attorney General Eric Holder. Walling was joined at the second session by Flint Public Safety Director Alvern Lock, The Flint Journal reported.
Flint is among the top U.S. cities of more than 50,000 people with the worst crime rates. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder last year announced a plan to hire more troopers to help fight crime in Flint and other cities plagued by high crime.
The city about 50 miles northwest of Detroit also is financially troubled, and has been operating under a state-appointed emergency manager since 2011.
“Flint is in a good position to contribute feedback because we have had a high level of state and federal involvement, but there’s clearly shortcomings in what we’re doing and we can learn from other cities and request additional support from state and federal agencies,” Walling said, adding the support could come in the form of personnel, data or technology.
The White House said in a release that Obama told the mayors he would continue to seek measures that control gun violence through executive actions and by pressing Congress to expand a background check system.
Earlier this year, the Senate blocked an effort to broaden background checks. The effort was prompted by a shooting rampage at a Connecticut school last December that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead.
The group of mayors included Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.; Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Calif.; Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans; and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia.
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