Milwaukee Safe & Sound: Improving public safety in high-crime areas

The definition of safety differs from person to person. For some, it’s a safer neighborhood, a safer place for their kids to play, or a safer road.

Milwaukee's Safe & Sound organization is putting boots to the ground to improve public safety in high-crime, low-income neighborhoods.

"I'm with Safe & Sound, a neighborhood organization," said Darian Pruitt.

Darian Pruitt

Pruitt and Toria Monroe had one mission in mind when they decided to show up at Sherman park on a Sunday morning.

"If you ever need anything in the neighborhood, here’s our contact. Clean up, we are your people," said Pruitt.

Safe & Sound started 25 years ago. The nonprofit focuses on community organizing, youth development and law enforcement.

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"What we are experts at is being the people that connect folks," said Monroe.

Toria Monroe

The Safe & Sound team covers a lot of ground in 10 neighborhoods in Milwaukee within five police districts.

As part of their work, they talk to youth, even those struggling with addictions.

"It can be anything from nuisance abatements to talking youth about the impact of reckless driving to providing resources to residents who are struggling with addiction," said Monroe.

The team has one goal in mind, and that is to make changes.

"The biggest thing is you in the community. We want to see the changes," said Monroe.

Their first step will be to go door-to-door to achieve the change they desire.

"If you have any concerns about your neighborhood or things you want to see fixed, you can give me a call," said Pruitt.

Monroe said there is no "I" in team.

"You want people to be heard, like someone is paying attention," Monroe said. "Their voice is heard."

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"If we are going to build a safer Milwaukee, it starts with residents," said Pruitt.

Every step of the way, Safe & Sound strives to make neighborhoods safer.