FLINT POLICE DEPARTMENT GRANT REQUEST UNDER REVIEW

Emergency manager Michael Brown is banking on the renewal of a Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grant to save the jobs of a dozen police officers.

But a spokeswoman for the foundation said it will take some time before Brown knows whether the grant is money in the bank because the city’s application was only received on Friday.

“We just got the Flint proposal … Nobody has had a chance to review that yet,” said Carol Rugg, vice president of communications for Mott.

Rugg said an existing grant to pay for a 21st Century Community Policing Initiative was already extended for three months — to June 30 — earlier this year.

As he unveiled his financial plan for the city Monday, Brown warned that he might have to lay off police officers depending in part on whether the Mott grant is renewed.

Brown is also depending on renewal of a federal Staffing For Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant for firefighters.

The Mott Foundation grant was made to the city through its special initiatives program, which is designed to respond to “critical opportunities and/or issues that have the potential to significantly improve the quality of life in the Flint area,” according to the foundation’s Web site.

The most recent grant funding was targeted to revive some of the community policing techniques that were originally developed in Flint in the 1970s and ’80s.

The grant followed a 2010 grant worth $1.1 million to re-establish foot patrols in each of the city’s nine wards.

In a recent report on its Web site, Kimberly S. Roberson, director of  Mott’s Flint Area Program, recognized challenges faced by Flint and other post-industrial cities around the world.

“They include rebuilding the local economy, which in Flint was devastated over time by the loss of tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs,” Roberson said in the report. “The resulting erosion in the local tax base is tied to an aging, deteriorating infrastructure that was originally designed to serve a city much larger than what we have now.

“Those economic challenges have affected area schools and public services, such as police and fire departments, and strained the community’s nonprofit sector. And the situation has been made even more difficult over the last several years by economic struggles at the state and national levels.”

The foundation made grants totaling nearly $24 million in the Flint area in 2011.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.

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