Stop the violence: MPD teams up with urban radio stations in "Triggers of Peace" campaign

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The latest calls for peace in Milwaukee can come from anyone, and they'll be heard by everyone. The Milwaukee Police Department has partnered with some of Milwaukee's radio stations in a new "Triggers of Peace" campaign.

Police, and a number of Milwaukee's DJs believe the airwaves are the perfect platform. They're using the signal to give citizens across Milwaukee a voice to call for peace.

"Hello Milwaukee community. I`m just calling to ask all my brothers and sisters to please stop this violence," Artania Grant says in a voice-mail for radio station V-100.7.

Milwaukee's urban radio stations are collecting the recordings, and they'll be played throughout the day.

"We could run regular PSAs all the time `anti-violence, anti-violence` but it takes on a different tone when you hear your grandmother telling you `hey you know what? This isn`t the right way to do,'" V-100.7 Program Director Bailey Coleman said.

The personalized messages are the result of a partnership between Urban Radio United for Peace and Milwaukee police. Hoping to reduce gun violence, MPD enlisted the help of ad agency Cramer-Krasselt.

"It became very clear to us very quickly that messages where you talk at people, the `just walk away` wasn`t gonna play. You really needed to get personal," Lisa Rios with Cramer-Krasselt said.

"For every hardcore repeat offender, there are wannabes looking at that person as a possible leader. Who`s gonna offset the message of the cool kid with the gun? Well the only people that can are moms. The only people that can are grandmas. The only people that can are folks they respect," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said.

"I`m a mother of four and I like to bring my kids out to play. We like to have fun, but it`s not safe anymore in our community," Grant said.

The goal is for so many people to leave messages that eventually, someone who's thinking about committing a crime will hear the voice of a loved one.

"It`s more direct. It`s more hard-hitting. It's right there," Coleman said.

So far this year, police say Milwaukee has seen 60 homicides. That can be compared to 76 at this time last year.

If you'd like to leave a recording, call 1-844-SEND-PEACE.