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Alarming statistics, devastating consequences: MPD task force committed to reducing juvenile crime

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MILWAUKEE -- There has been an explosion of car thefts committed by young people in Milwaukee. The statistics are alarming, and the consequences often devastating. It has led Milwaukee police to dig deeper in an effort to fight juvenile crime.

Over the past year, there have been a growing number of crimes committed by children. The Milwaukee Police Department has seen a 163% increase in juvenile arrests between 2011 and 2015.

Kyle McFatridge

Kyle McFatridge

"They are putting themselves in very dangerous situations. Solving the problem, I think, is going to take a whole community approach," Kyle McFatridge, crime analyst said.

A special Milwaukee Police Department task force has been formed.

"We need information and we need to share it with all of our partners as best we can in real time," Sgt. Adam Grochowski said.

Adam Grochowski

Adam Grochowski

Sgt. Grochowski and McFatridge are part of the team.

"We find it`s useful to gather together partners, all the stakeholders so we can have a face-to-face conversation," Grochowski said.

They're partnering with various agencies like the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, holding weekly meetings, gathering statistics and studying juvenile behaviors.

One of the most prolific crimes among youth they're seeing is an explosion of auto thefts over the past two years.

Kyle McFatridge and Adam Grochowski

Kyle McFatridge and Adam Grochowski

"They do it because they`re impressing their friends. They`re impressing girls," McFatridge said.

These task force members are finding that consequences aren't deterrents for these young people -- even when these incidents end in death.

Marco Hilson

Marco Hilson

In April 2015, 15-year-old Marco Hilson was accused of carjacking a woman, before fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle.

"Ran through a red light, crashed into four other cars, went 25 feet through the windshield," McFatridge said.

Hilson was pronounced dead at the scene, near a mangled vehicle at 60th and Capitol.

"It's another example, again, of how dangerous this is becoming," McFatridge said.

Crash that killed Marco Hilson

Crash that killed Marco Hilson

Since November 1st, 2015, there have been seven such cases where car thefts have ended in death.

"On January 23rd, DeAnthony Parks," McFatridge said.

Capitol & Port Washington5

16-year-old Parks died at Port Washington and Capitol Drive. Police said a stolen SUV flipped and slammed into a home. The SUV landed on its roof.

"He dies in this vehicle," McFatridge said.

Other passengers in the vehicle took off.

"The juvenile offenders themselves are putting themselves at risk by their behavior," Grochowski said.

N. Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive

N. Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive

These are the behaviors police say may take an entire city to change.

"It`s not just the police department that can solve this problem, but the community itself, the families, the District Attorney`s Office, the juvenile justice system, both the county and the state coming together, working together, so we can help stem back this tide," McFatridge said.

"We need to get out in front of this now," Grochowski said.

This is a major problem people at the state and local level are working to change.

Just last week, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced a plan to have two analysts from MPD track repeat juvenile offenders as they work their way through the justice system with the goal of figuring out what needs to change so these kids can make better choices.

10 comments

  • mcdonald

    There is no saving Wisconsin. This state is ran by idiots. Why not actually punish these juveniles instead of releasing them. The juvenile justice system is a joke……..

    • Opinion8d

      Couldn’t agree more! But instead of taking action, politicians play games……..just listen to the ‘racial disparity’ talk when it comes to incarceration, heck, even school suspension/expulsions. It doesn’t matter if those are the facts, the politicians will pander and not protect law abiding citizens.

  • Michael Neils

    It’s not impressive to steal a car when the courts do not punish you. Lock em up. FORCE ged, FORCE sex ed, FORCE personal finance, FORCE job training. The very 1ST TIME they steal. Try and act all grown up be FORCED to be all grown up. Grown up is education, work, learning to live within your means,no babies unless YOU can pay for them. Maybe if they find out stealing = grown up? they will just be good kids in school, trying to make a better life.

  • Fred

    WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I know for a fact this City is run by blind idiots -true definitions of morons that don’t have a clue as to what is going on under their watch!!! Why does a Task Force need to be formed to see what the problem is?? Let’s throw money at this task force and let them waste it. Try throwing that money into expanding the jails.
    Newsflash city leaders – your D.A.’s and judges keep putting these scumbag kids back on the street time after time when they commit crimes. The Cops get a bad rap when they are the ones who keep sweeping up the trash just so the liberal justice system can dump it back on the street after a big hug. I don’t give a flying freak if they’re kids or not. When they commit crimes they need to be in jail. If you haven’t figured out by now that giving these ‘kids’ second, third and fourth chances isn’t working, you just proved Einsteins definition of insanity. The Cops don’t have anything to do with solving this problem, the voters need to solve the problem and get these incompetent liberal pansies out of office.

  • Batcrap

    I used to work in the juvenile justice system back in the west coast and let me tell you wisconsin is more liberal then i would imagine. It’s actually really sad. In other states you actually get punished as an adult for felony crimes unlike wisconsin. You serve a mandatory sentence bUT in a juvenile detention center where the juveniles are taught to get their GED and learn life long skills. Wisconsin doesn’t punish any of the juveniles if it’s their first offense. Perhaps they are afraid of doing that because wisconsin does have the highest incarceration of blacks. So our best opinion is no punishment. … this stare is ran by morons. You hire 2 crime analyst to try and determine why there is so much crime by juveniles. I’ll save tom Barrett some money. Maybe you should actually charge and punish these kids like other states. If they know they can get away without any punishment this trend will not stop.

    • Fred

      One has to ask then, why is the incarceration rate of blacks so high? I think I know the answer but let others chime in………..

      • Batcrap

        Theres not one answer to that imho. Poverty, culture, social economic status, parenting, and less opportunities. They all play a role in creating a person and their outcome. I always said the environment you live in cam determine who you are in the future. I grew up in poor neighborhoods growing up and my influence was my hard working parents. So that environment got me out the ghettos. Many factors to why blacks are more likely to be incarcerted but environment does play a role. Still I believe in tough punishment. You commit the crime you should do the time regardless of race.

      • Realistically Speaking

        Thank you for a logical bat.. I’ve seen so many Idiotic logic on here form those with answers. Wisconsin is the most segregated state in the US with the highest incarceration of black men. Let that sit for a moment. 1 and 4 black men will go to jail at least once. Generational poverty, environment, segregation with lack of resources, and taking families apart in the judicial system are all leading factors. Let’s not mention the lack of education here. So many people say, “if I can do it, why can’t they?”
        Simple. Look at your life and reflect on the opportunities. Maybe reflect on what your parents may have had. Some many black families are just starting to establish wealth. That plays a role.

        Wake up.

  • A yooper

    I bet our visiting Commander and Chief has no clue as to what’s going on in Milwaukee. Mayor Tommy trolley praying that the head Bozo doesn’t axe questions about crime rates . Credit to Milwaukee police PATROLMEN. I could not imagine what you go through daily being directed by circus clowns.

    • Mr. McDonald

      Agreed. Tom Barrett should be let go. Spending tax payers money on a trolley when we could be using it on more jails, perhaps a juvenile detention center that focus on education while being incarcerted, education, and job programs. But Tom Barrett and our politicians think a trolley will solve our problems. As long as these juveniles keep committing crimes one day a hard working police officer may shoot a black teen here and we’ll be making headlines all across the US. It’ll happen sooner or later unless these kids are punished for their crimes they will keep causing problems.

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