Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton
Press Release

A safe summer in Milwaukee is within reach

Statement of Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton May 4, 2017

By - May 4th, 2017 09:25 am

It is up to us to be intentional about directing our energy and dedication to improve the safety of our neighborhoods and our city as a whole. Considering the many positive and high impact collaborations happening in Milwaukee, we have a prime opportunity to make this summer one of our safest in years.

To make this happen, there are key actions that my colleagues and I must work together to achieve.

We know that trends in police officer retirement and current staffing levels create realities that we must pay attention to. Some of the things we can do now to address those realities include offering incentive programs to officers who are approaching retirement to stay on beyond their retirement date. Another solution to this issue is to create a structure that engages seasonal officers, retired officers, and individuals with law enforcement experience to work with police. Both are possible solutions the Council discussed this time last year.

I will convene committees to consider both options and I will work to engage the Police Department, Budget Office, Pension Board and the Police Union in these proposed strategies to address solutions to community safety concerns.

It has been the Common Council’s call and my personal commitment to collaborate with law enforcement to achieve a safer Milwaukee. We all acknowledge that public safety concerns cannot be borne on the shoulders of the Police Department alone.

We are pushing a solution-focused narrative in our neighborhoods this summer while working toward providing jobs for youth in targeted neighborhoods and building infrastructure to connect adults who are willing to work to employment opportunities.

We are leveraging city resources in targeted neighborhoods in Milwaukee so that there is a collaborative effort to keep neighborhoods clean, develop plans to address foreclosed and abandoned houses, and create positive activities and programs for our youth who will be out of school this summer.

My vision for a safe summer in Milwaukee is achievable and it is a vision we all need to believe in. We will not let counterproductive narratives set the tone for how we perceive our city this summer. Instead, we all have to roll up our sleeves and work together to make the vision for a safe summer in Milwaukee a reality that we all can celebrate.

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