City gathers public input on violence prevention plan at meeting

Posted at 12:15 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 13:32:01-04

The City of Milwaukee plans to use public input to craft a violence prevention plan.

The first meeting aimed at gathering that information was held Tuesday morning at Discovery World.

More than 100 people were there. Members of the community in attendance represented groups like churches, youth organizations, non-profits and the police force.

Mayor Tom Barrett said the city's message to all of them is simple:

"We need you to be a part of making this a safer city," Barrett said.

Reggie Moore, Director of the city's Office of Violence Prevention, stressed that public officials will tailor a plan based on community input.

"There's a lot of fatigue with planning processes," Moore said. "We've been studied to death in this city. But I do not, I have not, seen a comprehensive plan in terms of what the community would like to see."

Bevan Baker, Milwaukee's Commissioner of Health, said violence must be viewed as a public health issue, and the city should work towards preventing it, not curing it.

Baker said a violence prevention plan should examine how resources can be diverted to address issues with transportation, housing, and food security that might all be contributing to crime.

"Everything upstream from violence effects violence downstream," Baker said. "So we need to do what we can to get the best desired outcome."

Barrett said he hopes to see the plan complete in several months.