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Opinions teeter on the future of Swing Park

Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 23:10:16-04

The future of a popular East Side park is in question after it turned into a violent murder scene. 

Two weeks ago, there was a double homicide near Swing Park on Water Street.

Some residents called for the swings to go. Others say they like them.

On Wednesday night,  Mayor Tom Barrett, city leaders and the police gave residents a chance to tell them what they wanted.

“I’m here to speak in favor of keeping the swings,” said resident Frank Alioto.

“I think getting rid of the swings would not solve anything,” said resident Katie Chamberlain.

More than 100 people filled a meeting on the future of Milwaukee’s Swing Park. Some said get rid of the whole thing

“That wasn’t a park. It’s sand and six swings. I mean that is a little bit pushing it,” said resident Marcella Baruzzini.

What residents can agree on is changes need to happen. Two weeks ago, there was a double homicide as two groups of people were walking across the bridge near the park.

Neighbors said other crime has included mugging, arguments and underage drinking.

Milwaukee Police said change is in the works because they have gotten access to security cameras pointed at the park in real time.

“There is new software technology that allows you to receive alerts when there is issues in the park. So we aren’t always like- did we check, did we check, did we check?” said Captain Diana Rowe.

Some residents suggested a locked fence around the park. The city said they will add more lighting and structures to fill empty spaces.

The head of the Brady St. Business Improvement District Alaa Musa promised no one would be driven away by crime.

“We are going to retake the area with additional lighting and art work and we are going to do whatever it takes,” said Musa.