MILWAUKEE -- On Sunday, May 19, Milwaukee Mayor Barrett visited three places of worship in an effort to engage faith communities to fight violence and promote safety in Milwaukee. This, on the 15th annual Ceasefire Sabbath -- an effort to mobilize the faith-based community to work collaboratively to improve public safety and strengthen neighborhoods.
As the weather warms up, it seems tempers also rise, which is why Mayor Barrett said the Blueprint for Peace is so vital. The Ceasefire Sabbath church visits took place hours after the city's latest homicide near 23rd and Highland.
Shooting near 23rd and Highland in Milwaukee
"We had our car stolen in front of us," said Priscilla Prado.
"I want our city to be more peaceful," said Mayor Barrett. "Our police and other city programs can't reach everyone."
Mayor Barrett visited St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church near 20th and Becher, New Life Hmong Alliance Church near 24th and Scott and Abundant Faith Church of Integrity near 76th and Good Hope.
This year’s church visits continued the focus of discussing violence prevention and how to better invest in the futures of Milwaukee’s young people. In addition, Mayor Barrett asked all faith leaders to spread a message of peace.
Mayor Tom Barrett
"From neighborhood cleanups to working with churches, to making sure there are mentors in place -- I'm very proud of our summer youth program that we've had for many years now," said Mayor Barrett.
According to the mayor, the combined efforts have proven effective.
"Our police department deserves a lot of credit -- Office of Violence Prevention. The good news is, we have seen a reduction in violence -- a significant reduction in violence. Our homicides are down 25% from where they were a year ago this time. Our non-fatal shootings are down over 30% from over two years ago," said Mayor Barrett.
To kick off this effort, Mayor Barrett was joined by faith, community and youth leaders. Attendees heard from various speakers and guests and engaged in a conversation on how to best provide a holistic approach to tackling violence.