Moving in the right direction: Milwaukee police are proud of 2014 crime statistics

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- New numbers from Milwaukee police show that crime in the city is on the rise. However, there is one area where police are pleased to say, the numbers are down.

Chief Ed Flynn went in front of the Public Safety Committee armed with statistics for the first 9 months of the year. Overall, crime is up from last year by 3%. But one big positive -- the number of homicides in the city is down.

It's something they're proud of.

"We're approximately 20 homicides behind last year at this time, which is a significant number," said Flynn.

Still, Chief Ed Flynn admits that Milwaukee police have a lot more work to do.

"This year we've already reached 500 nonfatal shootings," said Flynn.

That's already higher than all of 2013 -- and is a part of what's driving up the crime numbers.

"We've had a total of 456 non-fatal shooting incidents, but we've had 524 victims of those incidents. So we are getting more multiple victim shootings than we did last year," Flynn said.

Another big reason behind the increase -- car thefts.

"What was happening was they were stealing 2 and 3 and 4 cars a day. It was an activity. It was fun," said Flynn.

Many of those criminals are now off the streets. Police arrested 38 people in connection to those thefts in September.

"That broke up 11 crime crews and pretty much put an end to it," said Flynn.

Flynn says they are moving in the right direction now.

"Our use of the data enables us to focus our resources on those issues that are trending upwards and try to reduce those trends," Flynn said.

And the sharing of that information is something council members are grateful for.

"The common council gets more information from the police department in what's happening with crime than we've ever gotten," said Flynn.

Chief Flynn says another thing they are proud of -- they've seized over 2,000 firearms from the criminal offenders in this city in the past 11 months.

Get crime statistics for neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee by clicking the links below.