MILWAUKEE -- There is concern over crime on Milwaukee's south side. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and MPD officials say there is a reason the south side is being targeted. This, as some aldermen say residents are getting frustrated -- and are calling for change.
Even with an increase in crime, Chief Flynn says what the south side has in its favor are strong community groups that watch over their neighborhoods and mobilize.
"Let`s change the south side," one south side resident said.
"Pastors should be walking around the neighborhood, talking to the neighbors," one south side resident said.
At a meeting of the Milwaukee Common Council's Public Safety Committee Monday, June 6th, Chief Flynn addressed an increase in carjackings as Alderman Bob Donovan said frustration is growing.
"We`re hearing from constituents that, you know, they deserve better," Donovan said.
"A lot of the carjackings have been on the south side, but the offenders have been from the north side," Flynn said.
Police say there may be a reason for that.
"They go to the south side because fewer people on the south side are armed," an official with the Milwaukee Police Department said.
"The offenders that are offending in the south side right now are identifying it as a target-rich environment of middle-class people with nice cars," Flynn said.
Alderman Mark Borkowski warned that some on the south side may take matters into their own hands.
"There has been a lot of chatter about vigilante groups," Borkowski said.
That's something Chief Flynn said he hasn't been hearing.
"We would urge people to continue working with their districts, to behave responsibly, which overwhelmingly the residents of the city do," Flynn said.
"I hope it doesn`t get to that point certainly, but I`ll tell you, I know that people are frustrated," Donovan said.
Alderman Jose Perez said faith groups will play a role in making neighborhoods safer.
"We want to coordinate our efforts and get them involved as much as possible to find solutions," Perez said.
Even with an increase in crime on the south side, Chief Flynn said there is still no comparing it to the amount of crime on the north side. For example, in 2015, ShotSpotter reported nearly 26,000 shots fired on the north side compared to nearly 2,500 shots fired on the south side.