MILWAUKEE — Following a record-breaking number of homicides last year, violence prevention groups went into communities Saturday going door to door to talk with neighbors about how they can help stop the violence.
"Last year there was an unprecedented level of homicides and non-fatal shootings in the city," said Reggie Moore, director with the City of Milwaukee office
of violence prevention.
In the deadliest year ever recorded for the city of Milwaukee in 2020, local violence prevention groups are hoping in the new year, things will be much different.
"It’s very important that everybody gets involved because it’s all of our problem," said Hamid Abd-Al-Jabbar, outreach supervisor for 414Life.
"If we’re out here showing them the right thing to do then they’ll have a better alternative instead of being out here stealing cars, or dealing drugs," said Lanisha Martin, advocate for Running Rebels.
The group's outreach effort comes in the wake of an early morning homicide of a 13-year-old girl Saturday.
"No child in our city should be shot or killed that’s absolutely unacceptable. Last year we also saw an increase in shootings involving children a lot of what we’re also seeing is an increased level of road rage and shootings in vehicles in which she was also shot," said Moore.
But these groups say in order for them to be successful, they need to be provided with the funding they need to address critical issues within the community.
"Investment in mental health support, community outreach, many of the groups out here do that but they’re doing it without the level of resources that they need so we need more funding for that," said Moore.
Violence prevention organizers decided to start their outreach efforts in the Milwaukee north side neighborhood, which is near the location of the city’s first homicide of 2021.