Sharing ideas: Leaders from Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago look for ways to curb gun violence

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A group of Midwestern leaders gathered in Milwaukee on Thursday, September 11th to talk about strategies to reduce gun violence in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago.

Gun violence is a problem shared by three of the Midwest's largest cities, and on Thursday, leaders from those cities gathered to exchange ideas.

"In all of these cities -- if you look at Milwaukee and Minneapolis and Chicago for example, the demographics of crime, the impact of crime, the phenomenon of crime -- virtually identical in all three cities. There is some commuter crime between our respective cities. It's certainly an aspect of our issues here in Milwaukee. From time to time, our offenders go there and their offenders come here -- but the bigger issue is the overall dynamics of violence are very similar," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said.

Chief Flynn says some of those similarities include violence being highly concentrated among people with criminal records who prey on people in their own neighborhoods, the willingness of some people to use deadly force, and access to high-quality firearms.

"We're always exchanging ideas and looking for best practices to improve the way that we deliver services as police agencies," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he sees the summit as an opportunity to see what's going on in other communities, and look for ways to work together.

"I'm looking for more tools, more effectiveness," Mayor Barrett said.

Thursday's gun violence reduction summit was the second in a series. A similar event was held last year in Minneapolis.