Lansing mayor delivers 11th state of the city

Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 08:24:22-04

"As we begin 2016, the state of our city is strong and getting stronger," said Lansing Mayor Virg Benero, as he welcomed everyone to his eleventh state of the city address.

It started with a summary of what's happened and what's next.

"Are we better off today than we were 10 years ago? 20 years ago?" he asked. "In countless ways the answer is yes."

Mayor Bernero highlighted lower unemployment in a growing city.

"We have reversed the 40 year trend of population lost, and replaced it with population gains for the last three years," he explained.

He says crime is also down compared to a decade ago. "Lansing residents are safer, and credit for that goes to the men and women in our police department."

A department that's getting 120 body cameras for all of its road patrol officers and supervisors by early April.

"It's gonna show again the day in and day out good work that police officers do," said Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski. "Will help us will prosecutions. It'll also keep the behavior, not only for our police officers, but for our community in check."

But it's going to take more officers to get the job done, which is why the mayor encouraged people to apply.

"We're looking for the next future police officer to come to our organization," said Chief Yankowski. "We have 15 vacancies right now."

The mayor also encouraged people to support lansing schools by voting for the Lansing Promise Bond.

"We want young people who graduate to a career or to college ready to live and work here in lansing," said Mayor Bernero. "It's the foundation of a great community."

A community he says should also support neighboring cities such as Flint, which he made a sister city right on stage.

"It means a lot to Flint," said Mayor Karen Weaver. "For a year and a half no body really heard our story, and so for this partnership to form, we know it's going to mean other things as well."