Lansing Violent Crime Initiative Update - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lansing Violent Crime Initiative Update

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(WLNS) - Remember these initials: V.C.I.  They stand for "violent crime initiative."

One year ago, this month Lansing's newest chief of police Mike Yankowski took over as interim chief.

And for the past year he's been working hard to develop and grow the VCI.

6 News anchor Chivon Kloepfer sat down with Chief Yankowski to see how this initiative has changed the way his department, and many others, now operate.

Natural sound: "I grabbed her legs and feet and carried her to the trunk.  she started screaming and held up her leg, because i was trying to slam the trunk. That's when i heard 5 or 6 shots."

Those 5 or 6 shots in the summer of 2010 triggered more than just the brutal murder of a 19-year old woman.

It was the start of what's now known as the VCI.

Chief Yankowski says, "It was really the Shayla Johnson homicide that we realized we had significant criminal elements that were operating in the city of Lansing. There was a bigger picture here. We realized they didn't just stay in the city of lansing. They were going all over the capitol area, committing these types of crimes."

So, for 2 years officials worked on the model for the violent crime initiative.

Which meant forming multi-jurisdictional partnerships and learning to sharing information between federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies, as well as parole officers, prison officials, prosecutors and more.

And in the fall of 2012 it was time to put all their work, to good use.

Chief: "One of the first cases that vci really helped assist case support was the I-96 shooter. That task force mentality, we should be doing that ever single day in our communities."

And that's been the focus of the Lansing police department since taking control of the VCI in May of last year.

Chief: "We had 4 search deployments. In June, July, August and September. And those yielded over 180 arrests, over 400 contacts, several drug raids. We took off a significant number of our criminal element, those that were responsible for a lot of violent crime."

In November, within 48 hours of a violent Jet's Pizza armed robbery in Frandor, the VCI was up and running.

Chief: "were able to identify those responsible for that and took them into custody and now waiting on a trial for that brutal crime. Most recently, we just made our fourth arrest on the key homicide on Pine and Saginaw in June. That's the influence that the VCI is all about."

And next month Chief yankowski says five police officers, a sergeant and a detective will be assigned to work only VCI related cases

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