Milwaukee public safety town halls, concerns addressed in person

Public safety was the primary focus of town hall events in Milwaukee's 14th Aldermanic District over the weekend. 

The two in-person events on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 were called the "Safe Spring" series. Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic took advantage of lowered COVID restrictions, inviting residents to present their concerns in person.

A variety of public concerns were addressed during the town halls.

"With reckless driving, there's so much the police can do and violence prevention, but there are some infrastructure changes we can do to attempt to modify poor behavior," said Dimitrijevic.

Members of the Milwaukee Police Department and Department of Public Works were also there to answer questions.

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"We’re seeing more unprecedented break-ins in our vehicles, and I know there's catalytic converters being stolen and reckless driving going on," said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman. "All of those things is a balancing act insuring we give attention to all these concerns that matter."

One consistent point that came up was the concern regarding teenagers getting involved in violent crime and what resources are out there to try to fix the problem.

The Office of Violence Prevention was there to share their mission.

"It can’t just be everything relying on law enforcement," said Jamal Smith, Office of Violence Prevention. "It requires residents. It requires public health services, the community-based organizations, grassroots workers, policymakers, mental health workers, school, education, teachers. Everyone has to be at the table when we talk about prevention work."

After a successful weekend, Dimitrijevic said she hopes to host more town halls like this in the future in order to give residents the opportunity to voice their concerns about public safety in their community.

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