Milwaukee COP House program about to become reality

Program has officers living in certain areas

A new COP House program has Milwaukee Police officers living in certain neighborhoods as a way to crack down on crime. 

The program is designed to build relationships with community members.

Alderman Tony Zielinski says it's all about community oriented policing, improving neighborhoods and making them safer for families.

“This is going to be a tremendous opportunity for kids and adults for that matter to go into these cop houses, we're looking at starting off with just one house right now," Zielinski said.

Most likely the homes will be in challenging neighborhoods with high crime.

"They're here to serve you to help make your neighborhood a better place to be," Zielinski said.

The COP House will be a central hub for law enforcement and public safety officials to work with the community.

"This is just merely one step in a whole series of steps we're looking to advance to improve public safety," said Zielinski.

This idea will be modeled after a similar program in Racine where some cop houses helped reduced crime by up to 70 percent.

"This is going to be a source of pride for the community, this is gathering place, I envision elected officials going there and also interacting with people of the neighborhood," Zielinski said.

And it's not just about crime. The COP houses will also be equipped with computers for the community to use.

"It's improving educational opportunities for people in the neighborhood, it's going to be a house where people can better themselves with education or whatever other means," said Zielinski.

The city is still looking at potential properties, but hasn’t chosen any yet. The plan is to use a city-owned home and fund the project with federal grant money.

Zielinski says the program won't be up and running until at least spring 2018.

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