MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The breakdown of the family, poverty and joblessness. Those are all problems one Milwaukee alderman says are challenging the City of Milwaukee.
Now, Alderman Bob Donovan is proposing a community-wide action plan and community engagement initiative. Donovan says it can produce sweeping improvements especially in the area of public safety throughout Milwaukee.
Donovan's action plan, unveiled on Monday, February 10th, has eight points. They include the following:
- Create "I pledge Milwaukee" initiative: The goal is to encourage residents to choose service over selfishness -- and to pledge the actions, time, money and other commitments necessary to make the community a better place.
- Expand "Operation Impact" program city-wide: The operation is a multi-faceted approach to reducing crime and disorder. It has already been employed on Milwaukee's south side and Donovan believes it has been a success.
- Add 250 more police officers in the next two years: Donovan believes deploying more officers can make a huge difference in the safety of the community. He believes Chief Ed Flynn would put them to the best possible use.
- Increase use of beat patrols/recommit to "broken windows" policing: Donovan wants to assign more newly-hired police officers to neighborhood beat patrols. Officers would be on the same beat "day in and day out" -- so they become a part of the community.
- Expand use of "ShotSpotter" technology: The system detects with sensors where gunshots may have been fired. Donovan wants this expanded in the city.
- Strengthen community prosecution unit: Donovan says the unit is "an effective tool for dealing with...nuisance properties." He wants it expanded.
- Pass new state legislation: Donovan suggests legislation banning habitual criminals from obtaining concealed carry permits and making possession of concealed firearms by those currently prohibited from such possession a felony.
- Protect ALL neighborhoods: Donovan wants to make sure all neighborhoods in the city are being served by officers on patrol.
Donovan said in a news conference on Monday, February 10th, "I believe we need to shake the cobwebs off and get Milwaukee moving again."
He said, "The only way we can substantively deal with these challenges is by working together; bringing all segments of the community together."
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) was at the news conference. He said he is often asked why he should care about Milwaukee since he represents Racine County. To that, Vos said, "I tell them it's a pretty simple answer. As Milwaukee goes, so goes the entire state of Wisconsin."
The Kohn Law Firm has committed $50,000 to the program that uses public/private funds for efforts that improve lighting in and near alleys, expand surveillance cameras, and operate the "Neighborhood Ambassador Community Service Program."
Milwaukee police issued a statement saying, "We appreciate Alderman Donovan's support as we continue to implement a variety of effective crime prevention strategies and pursue legislative changes that will make Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin safer."
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.