Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Operation Harden the Target aims to help cut crime in near south side area

News conference set for Monday, July 1st at the Burnham Park Pavilion

By - Jun 28th, 2013 02:20 pm

A new, multi-pronged crime prevention initiative – “Operation Harden the Target” – will be launched next week in the Layton Boulevard West Neighborhood area on the near south side.

Alderman Bob Donovan said the initiative will directly address a recent spike in motor vehicle thefts and garage burglaries in the area, which encompasses Burnham Park, Layton Park, Silver City and National Park.

Alderman Donovan, Milwaukee Police Department representatives and neighborhood residents will hold a news conference at 11:00 a.m. Monday, July 1, 2013, at the pavilion in Burnham Park, S. 33rd and W. Burnham Streets, to discuss Operation Harden the Target.

Milwaukee police auxiliary officers and volunteers will be going door-to-door next week throughout the neighborhood, handing out fliers detailing Operation Harden the Target.

Alderman Donovan said the initiative, which will leverage some Operation Impact funds to help residents make their properties harder for criminals to target, comes courtesy of MPD’s District Two and has a “grassroots” feel to it. “Operation Harden the Target will bring average residents together in an effort to make thieves avoid their neighborhood, and to make the bad guys ask themselves whether the crime is worth the trouble,” said Alderman Donovan, who founded the Operation Impact public-private partnership several years ago to fight crime on the near south side.

“I want to personally thank the new commander of District Two, Captain Alfonso Morales, for his energy and quick action in helping to move the operation forward, and also to Officer Michael Kopel (motor vehicle theft suppression) and Officer Jeff Thiele (burglary suppression) for their proactive efforts to reduce crime in the area,” Alderman Donovan said.

Alderman Donovan said Operation Harden the Target will have some key features:

  • The reactivation of the CAT Program (Catch Auto Thieves), which allows residents to authorize police to automatically pull over their vehicle/s if they are observed in operation between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Operation Join the Club is an effort to provide a well-known steering column locking device to those who own vehicles that are most commonly targeted by thieves.
  • Operation ID encourages residents to register their valuable electronics, lawn and garden machinery, and other items so that they can be identified if recovered after being stolen.

In addition, Milwaukee police will offer residents free security surveys of their homes and garages, offering advice on how they can make them less appealing (or harder targets) to criminals.

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