MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on Monday afternoon, October 16th vowed to hold reckless drivers accountable. He hosted a news conference at 27th and Fond du Lac on efforts to enforce traffic laws using some new tactics. This, after a serious crash on Saturday night.
Chief Flynn said Monday was the first day of MPD's new "Traffic Enforcement Surge" initiative after Saturday's serious crash -- and several other incidents, some of them deadly.
The department will be targeting more than 50 intersections in Milwaukee that are considered dangerous in an effort to stop more vehicles -- with a goal of cutting down on reckless driving and speeding.
"Speeding, reckless driving, passing on the right, going through red lights," Flynn said.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joined Chief Flynn for the news conference.
"We are letting the residents of this city know, both the good residents who drive safely and those residents who drive recklessly, that the police are not only going to continue the work that they've begun, but they are going to pick up the pace even more," Barrett said.
Officials said so far in 2017, 52 people have been killed in crashes, and 400 have been hurt. That's the same amount of people hurt in non-fatal shootings.
Saturday's crash happened around 10:25 p.m. near 34th Street and Hampton Avenue.
Police say a stolen 2017 Mazda CX-5 was racing another vehicle east on W. Hampton Avenue. The driver of the Mazda lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median into westbound traffic and collided with three other vehicles.
The Mazda was originally taken in a burglary at a dealership on Saturday, October 14th, around 1:15 a.m. -- the Russ Darrow Nissan dealership off of I-41 near Good Hope.
The driver of the Mazda, a 16-year old boy from Milwaukee, fled on foot. He was later arrested. He suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
A passenger of the Mazda, a 17-year-old boy from Milwaukee, was injured in the crash and hospitalized in critical condition.
Three other teenage females were in the Mazda and were taken to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
Occupants of one of the other vehicles involved were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
The driver of the Mazda faces potential charges of second degree reckless injury, duty upon striking causing great bodily harm, operating after revocation causing great bodily harm, and operating an auto without owner’s consent.
He remains in MPD custody and the case will be presented to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in the coming days.
"We have 52 people killed in car accidents this year, which is only five less killed in all of less year. We watch the data. We react to the data, and we are reacting to the data today. When you've got a career criminal, but you've got him there for a significant traffic violation, load up on him -- because he's the same guy who's doing stolen cars, carjackings and robberies," Chief Flynn said.
"What we're doing today is we are letting the residents of this city know, both good residents who drive safely and those who drive recklessly that police not only continue the work they have done, but pick up the pace even more," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.
Both Flynn and Barrett called on the courts do to their part and hold these offenders responsible for their actions.
This MPD Traffic Enforcement Surge will continue through the end of 2017, at which point it'll be reviewed.
Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt is applauding the new MPD initiative, saying in a statement:
"I am extremely supportive of the chief's initiative. Multiple agencies working for the mutual outcome of enhanced public safety through reducing reckless driving is a force multiplier."
The announcement from the chief and mayor came a day before members of the Milwaukee Common Council and state representatives hold a news conference on a bill that would allow the city to use red-light cameras at intersections to help officers catch reckless drivers.
"The cameras would take a picture of people going through red lights, so they're breaking the traffic law. So after that a citation would be mailed, so it's an additional enforcement tool because the police can't be everywhere," Alderman Cavalier Johnson said.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.