Milwaukee alderman unveils two crime prevention efforts

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan announced Wednesday, September 5th two new crime prevention efforts on the city's near south side. That new effort is expected to provide alley lighting and to supply vehicle owners with a well-known anti-theft device.

"Operation Bright Lights" is an initiative involving a joint venture between Operation Impact -- a public/private effort to address crime int he near south side, and We Energies.

Alley lighting will be provided in the Silver City neighborhood – from S. Layton Blvd. on the east to S. 39th St. on the west, between W. Pierce St. and W. Greenfield Ave. The Operation Impact area is bounded by W. Pierce on the north, W. Lincoln Ave. on the south, S. 16th Street/S. Cesar Chavez Dr. on the east and S. 39th St. on the west.

We Energies put up lights on existing poles that illuminate some of the dark areas of the alleys where crime would occur.

"The incredible challenges our city faces as things related to public safety, but together this neighborhood and surrounding areas are fighting back," Donovan said.

Barbara Monty, who lives in the area, endorsed the new lighting.

"When there was no light here, cars would pull through constantly picking up prostitutes. The garbage cans would be tagged, the walls -- you don't know how many times we had to clean the graffiti off our alley here. There was graffiti everywhere," Monty said.

Donovan also discussed Operation Join the Club -- an initiative to provide a well-known steering column locking device to those who own vehicles that are most commonly targeted by thieves.

The Milwaukee Police Department assisted with Operation Join the Club by identifying approximately 150 residents in the Silver City and Clarke Square neighborhoods who own vehicles that are most commonly stolen, and providing them with clubs. The idea for this initiative was “borrowed” from the West Allis Police Department.

"Those 150 people will soon be getting a letter indicating they have those vehicles -- the top stolen vehicles, and we are prepared to give them a club," Donovan said.

Donovan says the only catch is that vehicle owners will be asked to use the club. Letters will go out to vehicle owners once Donovan has established the location where people can pick up their club.