City officials concerned as Lansing homicides track for record high in 2021


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The deaths are piling up. As are the bodies.

One in January. One in February. Three in March. Two in April. Now, already, two in May.

Nine people have died by homicide in Lansing this year — eight of those came by guns — and those in charge are frustrated.

“As a community it’s totally unacceptable,” said Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green. “It creates a sense of fear and instability in our communities and certainly our staff here at the Lansing Police Department, we’re taking it extremely serious.”

Green says there’s a number of factors that may be at play — the Covid-19 pandemic and an increase in domestic violence across the country among them. However what he is most concerned with, is the weapons people are using to commit these crimes and the ways they’re getting them.

“What we’re seeing is stolen and unsecured guns that have contributed to the deaths of many in our community,” Green said.

That’s why Green and Lansing Mayor Andy Schor joined the Gun Safety Consortium — a group seeking new ways to keep guns stored in both safe and practical ways.

“I’m one of the first mayors to be part of that, we’re testing out smart gun technology,” Schor said. “That will be important in reducing the numbers because if you have less stolen guns then you have less gun violence, less homicides.”

Ingham County as a whole is also looking into joining an agreement with ‘Advance Peace’ which enrolls people who commit acts of violence ina program that turns them into mentors.

The program promises to drop firearm assaults by 50 percent in three years.

Lansing Police Department also partners with Michigan State Police on the violent crime initiative and has seized more than 100 illegal guns in Lansing year to date.

Still, the violence persists.

“We are doing our best to get in front of the stolen guns,” Green said. “Remove those guns from people who are believed to be actively in the violence cycle.”

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