Proposal deserves a closer look…and perspective
Statement from Alderman Ashanti Hamilton May 9, 2013
Alderman Donovan’s proposal to add more than $600,000 from the 2013 Common Council Contingent Fund for public safety efforts was placed on file earlier today by the Public Safety Committee (essentially ending its chances of being heard or passing). But despite the committee’s action, I believe the proposal would be a worthy use of those funds. However, limiting the use of those resources to police overtime and the hiring of 20 new officers will do little to address the immediate safety needs facing our neighborhoods. To be clear, further examination of a plausible and immediate plan to address the public safety concerns brought up by this proposal is necessary.
I suggest we follow the model outlined by the Department of Justice that encourages a collaborative effort from residents, community-based organizations and the police department to implement comprehensive approaches to reducing crime. It is a strategy that has proven to be effective nationally but it is critical to have invested partners at the table and resources to follow through on the plan. Chief Flynn is a supporter of this strategy.
Specifically, Chief Flynn worked with the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) to earn Milwaukee the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Grant (that ironically is a $600,000 grant over three years) to help residents reclaim their neighborhoods. Expecting the police department to do it alone is a failed strategy and many of our constituents have been asking for a change in policy that offers them the support they need to repair and restore peace to their community.