“Community effort:” Mayor Barrett announces new initiative aimed at reducing violence in city

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Tuesday, November 1st announced the details of a plan to reduce violence and create healthier, safer neighborhoods in Milwaukee. This initiative may sound familiar -- but city leaders insist there is a key difference this time around.

Mayor Tom Barrett

Mayor Tom Barrett

Mayor Barrett and officials with the City of Milwaukee Health Department said this plan will reflect the wishes of people living in the city. They hope to make that happen by bringing together community groups and faith leaders while also getting guidance from a group that has overseen similar plans in other large cities.

Upstairs at Discovery World on Tuesday morning -- more than 100 city officials, activists and donors met for the launch of this new violence prevention plan -- hoping to discover a way to make it safer for families to take a walk around the park, or for teens to spend hours on the basketball court.


Basketball court

"What`s new this time is this is a community effort and I think that`s really a significant difference," Barrett said.

Barrett said means listening to the people -- including teenagers like Thomas Leonard.

Thomas Leonard

Thomas Leonard

"We cannot go into these communities with a savior complex and say 'these folks need me' -- but look at the assets we have in our communities and say 'I am going to enrich this part of the city because they are people and they are human beings,'" Leonard said.

Officials said there's an urgent need to complete a plan.

So far this year, Milwaukee police confirm they have tallied 120 murders.

At this time in 2015, the homicide count was at 125 -- a dramatic increase from the 71 homicides at this time in 2014.

Homicides in Milwaukee

Homicides in Milwaukee

Health Commissioner Bevan Baker said it's easy to tell people to stop shooting each other, but insisted safety is still the city's responsibility.

Health Commissioner Bevan Baker

Health Commissioner Bevan Baker

"Diet and nutrition is a personal responsibility -- but we still have people who make certain our food is safe. We still have people who make sure we don`t get carcinogens in our food," Baker said.

Leonard said he hopes there's a focus on mental health in the central city -- noting that it's easier to shoot, rob or loot if you've been exposed to violence at an early age.

"What about the young people who hear gunshots every single night? Who go to sleep to sirens?" Leonard said.

Triple shooting/homicide near 27th and Vine

The Medical College of Wisconsin is paying $93,575 to cover this planning process through its Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment. That money is also paying to bring in the Prevention Institute, which is based in Oakland. The group will offer guidance for city leaders and previously has consulted in cities like Minneapolis and Boston.

Baker says the goal is to have a list of actions set by spring.



    “The goal is to have a draft plan completed by early spring and a public release in early summer.”

    So basically they’ve done nothing, and its so far off they’ll do nothing, and nobody will remember. Great plan. How many plans, summits, deals, missions, and task forces has Barrett slapped together over the years? I seem to remember something about the definition of insanity…

  • Bill Madison

    Mayor McTrolley Face holds a meeting to tell the public they are going to create a plan. I am so thankful to have such a great leader to guide our city in the right direction. Between this great plan and the completion of the Trolley, Milwaukee will be the safest city in America

  • confused

    Cuz Oakland, CA is so safe. No one should need to tell you what to do for your city. Waste of $ to have them tell you more $ for “programs”-like free food, baby showers, energy assistance, housing like section 8, because if they all had free things they’d behave ROFL NOT working. You need to PUNISH the criminals.Jail, prison off he streets. If mama or dad commit a crime and the family gets assistance-it’s gone. Kids too; Jr skips school or Jane gets caught with weed, it’s gone. By removing the freebies and forcing people-even those families with kids-to work, they will appreciate an earned roof and meal. No wasting time looking for a store or old lady to rob or a car to jack, they’d be getting ready for work, do homework. AND with no criminal record and staying in school, it’d be easy to work 2 or 3 part time jobs, or land a decent full time one and the other parent can work part time.

  • Dave

    keep in mind Mr Mayor….you cant just round up all the young black and mexican people and send them somewhere else…..that boat wont float…..

  • Trolley Tom

    The only way to make this city safe is for the three stooges to leave-Tom Ed and John. You three have no plan whatsoever. Crime and punishment is the ONLY answer!!! You three are a joke and have brought this city to an all time low! People wake up, we are paying so much and getting nothing in return. He aids the criminal-all three of these stooges are useless-time to go!!!! When you want money you sure know how to bleed us dry Tom and we get NOTHING in return!!!!

  • Libsareliars

    So why should this take 6-9 months from now to come up with a plan. I could submit a plan for them to reduce violence in like a week. It would be harsh but believe me it would work!!!!

  • Mrs. Patsey Gladney

    I would like to see more Public School have programs put back in place that are students can be interested in. Such as MUSIC and Musical theatre, Computer Learning, Cooking, and Art Classes, more after school programs during and after. My time in school we had these programs and it help me stay out of trouble. Bring back the things that would work and stop taking the things that work. My Grandson goes to the Milwaukee School of Arts on Highlln Avenue. What a difference it has made in his life. I believe if you put back the things that work you would have a better School for The Milwaukee School.

  • Paul

    The mayor is clueless but he keeps getting elected. Embarassing. Maybe he can make his big announcemnt on the trolley and jack up the wheel tax to pay for his plan.

  • Always Outspoken

    Barrett called a meeting to announce that he’s come to the decision that something must be done about crime.

    I’m sure the criminals are shaking in their boots to hear this and are already rethinking their decision to commit crimes!

  • Jim Smith

    First step is to admit there is a problem, which they have done.
    2nd step is to identify the problem and its causes.
    Realize that the government is not going to solve the problem mostly because it is a bid part of the problemWhat too many people are not willing to admit is that violence comes, not from the barrel of a gun, blade of a knife or swing of a fist, it comes from the heart. It is not man’s laws that protect us from violence; it is MAN’s morality
    We need to stop all the government handouts which were meant as a safety net but have become a carreer path.
    We need to go back to teaching children morals and values. teach them that there are winners and losers and all of life is not fair. Put music and home ec and shop back into schools and get rid of the idiotic common core crap that, in my opinion was meant to build reliance on the system. Teach the kids cursive and critical thinking skills.
    Teach them to garden and home and firearm safety.
    Kids need to stop looking at rappers and athletes as hero and look at the head of the table as a hero.
    Qquit pudhing college down every kids throat. Education is good but for every college grad there needs to be someone who can cook, clean, weld, fix cars, stock shelves, drive trucks/buses and countless other things. An analogy of that would be not everyone in the airforce flies an airplane, most are support for those that do.

  • Always Outspoken

    Mayor Barrett held a meeting to announce that he plans to call for a meeting to announce his intention to discuss making an announcement of a meeting to plan a discussion on whether to make an announcement calling for a meeting…

  • Mayor mcmoron

    What a freaking joke. How about prosecuting criminals and sentencing them to prison. How many times do we hear that the murders have a long criminal history. The same goes or juveniles try them as adults for violent crimes. Idiot judges and liberal politicians

  • Nate Jr

    Just more lip service from tommy trolley mccheese. Wake up people and realize nothing will change until you get the liberals out of office. These prevention institute scam artists are more than happy to take the money you are lining their pockets with you ignorant rube!! Where is the gutless, cowardly flynn in this plan? Oh he is probably poking that McBride whore!!

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