There are lots of opinions on how to deal with Milwaukee’s violent crime problem.
100 people attended a town hall meeting Monday night to talk about those issues with Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, Milwaukee Police Association President Michael Crivello, and Director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing Michael Scott.
One topic that triggered a spirited debate between Chief Flynn and the Police Union’s Mike Crivello was the effect of Wisconsin’s 5-year-old concealed carry law on gun violence in the city.
Flynn says that while "there's a place for concealed carry" for law-abiding citizens, his belief is that the law has put more firearms in the hands of criminals, because of how the state defines a "career criminal."
According to Flynn, the "overwhelming majority" of arrested felons in Milwaukee eventually take plea deals that become misdemeanors - and only convicted felons, or those convicted of three misdemeanors within five years, are barred from carrying a concealed weapon.
"It's an irresponsible law passed by irresponsible legislatures who are more interested in ideological points than saving lives," Flynn said. "And I sure as hell would like some more community outreach about that..too many public officials are silent on it."
Responding to Flynn, Police Association President Michael Crivello said "I have never had a conversation with you, chief, relative to you displaying that we are arresting an overwhelming amount of people, or even one person, that has committed a crime while carrying a CCW."
"The same law says I am forbidden to tell the public when a CCW permit holder breaks the law," Flynn replied. "I'm forbidden by statute."
All three panelists shared their views on how to solve the city’s violence issues. The town hall meeting was moderated by TODAY'S TMJ4's Shannon Sims.