40 red kettles back in commission after Salvation Army workers threatened at knife-point; suspect at large

MILWAUKEE COUNTY —  About 40 red kettles in Milwaukee County were returned to their locations Wednesday, December 20th -- after threats were made to three Salvation Army employees Tuesday afternoon. The suspect, who is known to police, is a former kettle worker that was being dismissed.

Major Steven Merritt, divisional commander of The Salvation Army Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, made the decision Wednesday morning.

"We feel confident in the Milwaukee Police Department's investigation to find the known suspect," Merritt said in a press release. "We will do everything to support them."

All of the kettle workers scheduled to these sites were interviewed and no worker was sent out who did not want to go, Salvation Army officials said.

This is a crucial fundraising time for The Salvation Army, with only three bell ringing days to go. As of December 20th, the Red Kettle Campaign has brought in $2.2 million. The Red Kettle Campaign goal for the 2017 Christmas season is $3.8 million. Although the bell ringers will stop collecting donations on December 23rd, the Red Kettle Campaign will continue on until January 31, 2018.

Campaign donations support more than 80 programs and services in Milwaukee County, including the Feed The Kids summer meals program, The Salvation Army Toy Shop, the backpack and school supplies program, Coats for Kids, Christmas Family Feast and our Emergency Lodge.

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