City leaders call for safer summer

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 23:14:02-04

Milwaukee city leaders are calling for a "safer" summer this year. Common Council members announced a plan to combat crime.

“We are collectively making that call,” said Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton. “Someone has to ask them to help with this problem and provide a way for that participation to happen.”

Nine members of the council including James Bohl, Milele Coggs, Russell Stamper, Jose Perez and Robert Donovan, gathered on Thursday, which was also National Gun Violence Awareness Day, to present their three-part action plan. The first part is a Community Outreach Callout, which consists of partnerships with churches, and a network of fathers in Milwaukee’s community.

The council has a called on 500 fathers to commit their involvement and carry out walk-through, and a cease-fire weekend on Father’s Day.

"We're asking for father's men to step up and serve and protect our community,” said Dennis Walton, with Milwaukee’s Fatherhood Initiative. 

“We know it takes a community to effect a community. It takes neighbors working with neighbors,” added Terry Witkowski.

The second part of their plan includes a series of meetings with multiple agencies.

“June 20th is the Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin,” said Robert Donovan, chair the Public Safety Committee.

During the month of June, the council plans to meet with Milwaukee’s Police Department, District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s office, and several other agencies.

“We’re finding ways of alignment so we can help each other … decrease crime,” said Hamilton.

Lastly,  members want to focus on those on the front line battling Milwaukee’s crime, by having the community members support the Milwaukee’s police department. Plus, they want to assure that the department can meet the city’s demands.

It is estimated that in the next 18 months, Milwaukee will see a large number of retirements. Approximately 231 police officers are eligible for retirement and members said they want to make sure experience officers have incentives to stay and others to join.

“We are elected by the people. They expect us to help reduce this crime, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Russell Stamper.