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Milwaukee Police Department to host public meeting this week to address downtown violence

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Posted at 9:19 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 08:49:15-04

MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee Police Department will be hosting a public meeting to discuss what it calls "unprecedented issues and behavior" in the downtown area.

The meeting set for this Thursday comes amid concerns over rising shootings, fights and other issues along Water Street and nearby areas this month. Milwaukee police have said they increased the presence of officers along the corridor. A city spokesperson told our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal on Monday that things were "going better" on Water Street, comparing this last weekend to the three previous weekends.

Members of the Milwaukee Police Department, District Attorney's office and others will be speaking at the event.

The event is set for this Thursday from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at MSOE's Diercks Hall at 1025 N. Milwaukee St. Free parking is available.

In a June interview with TMJ4 News, Milwaukee Police Acting Chief Jeffrey Norman called the large groups along Water Street “in-betweeners” or a lot of teenagers old enough to be out of the house, but not old enough to drink at the bars along the popular street - and said downtown is not the only area of concern.

Norman says the police department is working with other city agencies to help solve the problem, calling it an “all hands on deck” issue.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Police Association released a statement on Wednesday criticizing the mayor and Common Council members, claiming they are not doing enough to address growing violence while dozens of officers leave the force.

MPA President Dale Bormann pointed to recent chaos over the past few weekends on Water Street as an example.

"I get a lot of phone calls from the officers yelling and screaming. Yelling and screaming at me because there's not enough officers on the street to help fulfill what they need down in Water Street. I hear it from businesses," Bormann said.

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