City officials speak out on recent gun violence in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee has seen a rash of violence in the last few days and on Wednesday, August 7th Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Ed Flynn spoke out for the second time this week on the recent gun violence, and called on the state for help.

On Wednesday, Barrett announced that he has approved $500,000 in overtime for Milwaukee police officers, and he is asking the state to match that amount.

"We have to have a partnership here. This is not something we can do alone. Milwaukee did not ask for these criminals to be here. They are here. They are here in the state of Wisconsin, and I'm asking the legislature and the Governor to be our partner in this," Mayor Barrett said.

According to Chief Flynn, one of the biggest problems right now is that "currently, habitual criminals can legally get a permit." Which is why he and Mayor Barrett want the state to change the law, making illegal gun possession a felony with a mandatory three-year prison term.

"This is about getting criminals off the streets of MIlwaukee," said Mayor Barrett. "It’s going to happen again this Friday night. It’s going to happen again this Saturday night -- and our state government is sitting on its hands."

The Milwaukee Police Department has identified 189 people who are responsible for a majority of the city's gun violence. Chief Flynn says District Attorneys will be assigned to District Three and District Five, which account for 50% of non-fatal shootings in the city.

Mayor Barrett says he's working on next year's city budget, which will include putting more officers on the streets.

The Governor’s Office previously said the Gov. Walker will review any proposed legislation when it comes to his desk.

"If we can focus on lawbreakers who, unfortunately, have access to firearms for whatever reasons, and clamp down on that -- I'm all for is," said Gov. Walker.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement Tuesday night:

“We have way too many criminals who could care less about illegally possessing guns. We must get those criminals off our streets. It’s time for the Governor and the Legislature to take up and pass tough sentencing laws, including minimum mandatory penalties. If a special session is needed to get this done, then the Governor should call for one sooner rather than later.”