Milwaukee police chief addresses crime, community concerns

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman was on the hot seat Thursday at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon.

Norman was appointed the city's acting police chief in December 2020 and was formally named as chief of police in November 2021 – continuing the pursuit of his goals for the city.

"Impacting violent crime, reckless driving, improving community engagement and insuring department accountability," Norman said Thursday. "Today, as I present before you all, I can say without hesitation, those priorities have not changed."

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At the Newsroom Pub, the police chief opened up the floor for questions. He mentioned the police department's Traffic Safety Unit coming up on a year of operations after the public outcry in regard to reckless driving and car thefts.

"I understand what 2020 and most recently 2021 crime numbers are – unacceptable levels of harm in our community," said Norman. "I’m committed to impacting those numbers, and only by working with our partners and our community will we get this work done."

The police chief also acknowledged the alarming record set in Milwaukee last year: nearly 200 homicides.

"One homicide is too many," Norman said. "We have an issue in regard to our conflict resolution. The number two reason for the homicides in Milwaukee is arguments gone bad."

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With his official title as chief in place and a new year ahead, Norman said there is a lot of work to do.

"I have hope that we will see through this. I have hope that we are seeing the power of collaboration. I have hope that there are people being placed in positions who understand what their role means," said Norman. "My team is committed to that, and we have to understand that we have to be a part of the solution, otherwise you are a part of the problem."

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