MILWAUKEE — A program announced Friday is aiming to bring more Milwaukee neighbors into the fight against crime.
The Alert Neighbor Program provides funding for Ring doorbell cameras, lighting and signage to empower residents to take back their neighborhoods.
The pilot program will provide added security measures for 15 local neighborhood organizations.
Alderman Russell Stamper of the 15th District believes neighbors should work together, and through this program, they can do just that.
"Everybody deserves a clean, healthy and most importantly, safe neighborhood," Stamper said.
The program was first introduced to organizations more than a year ago, and on Friday community members along with the Milwaukee Police Department gathered at Halyard Park Neighborhood to detail how the collaboration will work.
For residents who chose to install Ring doorbell cameras, they can share their videos with one another as well as with law enforcement.
Milwaukee Police Department Captain Kristen Riestra spoke highly of the program as she emphasized how crucial community members are.
"We need nosey neighbors, extra eyes - whether they're electronic or whether they're real. That's what we rely on," Riestra said. "That's what we depend on."
Residents who live in the Ezekiel neighborhood will be the first group to receive ring cameras Saturday.
Kenneth McGhee said he sees crimes such as drug buys, prostitution and burglaries, and for a community that is mainly retirees, he wants a safer environment.
"We want our neighborhood to be safe for retirement and for our grandkids to come by and visit," McGhee said.
A 2008 U.S Justice Department report found that citizen policing programs were associated with a significant reduction in crime. On average there was a 16% decrease in crime in neighborhood watch communities.
MPD has gathered information on calls for service in each neighborhood and will track to see if there is a decrease in crime.
Organizers of the program will also check in with neighborhood leaders often to see how things are going.
McGhee said he hopes his neighborhood becomes safer and that the crime he sees will decrease significantly.
The neighborhoods in the program include:
- Historic Brewers Hill Association
- Keefe Ave. Safety Task Force
- 5 Points Neighborhood Association Inc.
- Halyard Park Neighborhood
- 3800 N 16th St block club w/ 16th St residents
- The Middle Ground
- Brown Street Block Watch
- 2800 N. 36th Block Club
- Johnson Park Neighborhood Association
- Walnut Way Neighborhood
- Friends of Clarke Square 17th St, 18th St, and 19th St.
- 25th Street & 26th Street One Street Outreach group
- Lincoln Ave. Safety group
- Ezekiel Homes Neighborhood
- Historic Concordia Neighborhood, Inc.
Alderman Stamper hopes to get the program through the city once they get funding.