What can state do to curb violence in Milwaukee? Walker, Burke weigh in

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MADISON (WITI) -- An issue in Milwaukee is commanding statewide attention. After a violent May in Milwaukee -- Governor Scott Walker and his challenger, Mary Burke are offering their views on how the state can help make Milwaukee safer.

Following a series of shootings as we approach summer in Milwaukee -- including two that injured children, city leaders have called on state lawmakers to enact harsher penalties for gun crimes.

On Wednesday, May 28th -- one week after 10-year-old Sierra Guyton was caught in the crossfire -- shot in the head while she was playing on the playground near 28th and Clarke, Gov. Walker pointed to the steps the state has already taken. His opponent, Mary Burke argues Republicans haven't shown enough interest in curbing violence in Milwaukee's inner city.

The violence in Milwaukee -- especially shootings involving children, has infuriated many.

In May, we saw an 11-year-old shot and injured near 25th and Capitol -- and then 10-year-old Sierra Guyton shot in the head on the playground.

"There`s no one solution to this, but we have to make sure our communities are safe -- that we do have the police resources in order to address the issues," Burke said.

While discussing the recent violence, Burke, Gov. Walker's Democratic challenger, accused Walker and the Republican Party of prioritizing Voter ID legislation over the safety of Milwaukee residents.

"I think from what we`ve seen in the bills that have been passed, it does appear like they take voter suppression more seriously than the violence suppression," Burke said.

After touring a New Berlin factory on Wednesday, Gov. Walker dismissed Burke's criticism.

"I think it`s hogwash. If you look at the -- we put money in the ShotSpotter. We`ve worked on other legislation," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker refers to an expansion of the ShotSpotter program used by the Milwaukee Police Department -- an expansion funded in part by the state.

Gov. Walker adds -- he's open to new laws aimed at those who use guns to commit a crime.

"We`re willing to work with members of the Legislature going forward in this next session to try and tackle ways we can keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals in this state and we`re committed to doing that," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker said he's open to the idea of using state money to hire more police officers in Milwaukee -- but only if the city and county were matching those funds -- similar to the ShotSpotter expansion.

11 comments

  • 2econd

    “There`s no one solution to this, but we have to make sure our communities are safe – that we do have the police resources in order to address the issues,” Burke said
    AGAIN, why is it so difficult for these politions to see that the problem lies in our court system?!! put the blame where it belongs!

  • HK

    I tell you what we can do — most of those shootings are repeat offenders. This 18 year old who just shot the girl, he’s been arrested 15 times, with 1 felony. Yet, he’s out on the street.

    It’s common sense: if bad people are on the streets, bad things will happen. Period. Doesn’t matter if they have access to guns, knives, baseball bats, or whatever. They will hurt and kill people. So if we continue to let a person who has been arrested 15 times free amongst us, we’ll be forced to listen to dumb people ask stupid questions like, “what can we do about the violence?”

    • able archer

      locking them up forever is a burden the taxpayers shouldn’t have to bear so i say lock them up forever and WORK them to death to offset the cost. chain them to the back of a WISDOT truck and make them fill pot holes with their bare hands.

      • HK

        I agree — forced hard labor — road crews. Unfortunately the most powerful lobby in WI is the asphalt/road worker union. They would never go for the loss of their jobs to forced labor.

  • Jimmy ridehart

    They need to legalize marijuana. You see crime has went down by 50% in Denver since legalizing the substance. Harsher punishments aren’t going to work. This problem goes deeper than that. Gun crimes have sky rocketed since the new ccw act as came into Wisconsin. More people buying guns, means more guns found by lil hoodlums when they burglarized homes or just over visiting someone’s home. MPS is on its last leg of hope being that funding is so low. There aren’t many after school centers open anymore and the ones that are open only stay open til 6 pm on school nights, which doesn’t help if a child gets out of school at 4pm. Has to get home and do there homework. When 6.pm rolls around and they are free they have nothing stimulating them outside of their homes..The employment statistics are a joke in Wisconsin. And it’s not about all being lazy and wanting a state issued check. It’s about the lack of many jobs available for those with no college education in Wisconsin. And the jobs that’s avail start off pay is even worse. Compare Texas economy plan to that of Wisconsin and you can clearly see where the differences are found. I hope something positive is brought about to my home state or I believe it will become another Michigan very soon…

    • HK

      Gun crimes have not sky rocketed since CCW, that’s false. They’ve stayed almost the same, minimally less. Also, if you look statistically, it’s VERY, VERY rare for the CCW guns that people are buying to be used in crimes. The stuff people are buying are the Glocks, Ruger LC9s, S&W shields, etc. The stuff being used in crimes have been on the street for decades and are beat up and barely serviceable. These are facts compiled by the FBI.

      The big problem is Mayor Barrett and Ed Flynn froze hiring of new offices. Those leaving are not being replaced. And on top of that Chris Abele cut Sheriff’s dept. spending by 15 Million dollars in the last 3 years, all because he has a beef with Sheriff Clarke. There are way more cops on the street.

      I thought about 2 months ago, President Obama hailed Wisconsin as the state to follow for job creation and economic policy?

      Marijuana is not the drug that’s causing problems. That has no bearing on the issue of violence in Milwaukee.

    • Richard

      Please provide accurate data to back up your claim that since CCW gun crimes have “sky rocketed”! Or is that just your bias shining through? These thugs are not following the CCW rules and never have. Owning a gun in your home was not established from CCW, that was around way before that. CCW is so you can carry while in public. Get it right before commenting on something you know nothing about. It just shows your ignorance when you don’t!

  • skipjack

    “While discussing the recent violence, Burke, Gov. Walker’s Democratic challenger, accused Walker and the Republican Party of prioritizing Voter ID legislation over the safety of Milwaukee residents.”

    Uh… since when is it Walker’s job to fight crime in Milwaukee? Isn’t that Barret & Flynn’s job?

  • cricket

    Wisconsin and lawmakers need to pass some of those death row sentences out and do away with 40-50 years to life mess. Wisconsin and about 4 other states dont have it, this is why they come here. If we pass out death row sentences, people will leave and Milwaukee will be an OK state once again. Right now, its ridiculous, and the City/State needs to crack down a little harder than what they are doing!

    • cricket

      Gov. Walker said he’s open to the idea of using state money to hire more police officers in Milwaukee — but only if the city and county were matching those funds — similar to the ShotSpotter expansion.

      Ummm..thats not always the solution giving 75 to life sentences on 1st offense would be great!–Milwaukee has a big problem and putting more officers to patrol is not always the answer although is may help-but maybe using both the same would be ideal

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