MILWAUKEE -- State, Milwaukee County, city of Milwaukee and federal officials teamed up on Monday, July 20th to announce a strategy to combat gun violence in Milwaukee. The joint announcement came just a day after Milwaukee experienced its 86th murder of 2015 -- matching the total for all of 2014.
Milwaukee homicide rate
A news conference was held at the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday evening.
Barrett spoke, along with Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and U.S. Attorney James Santelle. They talked about a memorandum of understanding which seeks to make sure everyone involved in this fight is on the same page -- from police all the way up to federal prosecutors.
Strategy to curb violence in Milwaukee
"Today we declare war on those who would commit crimes with guns in Milwaukee. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and to all those people who don't feel safe in their neighborhoods because of this problem. We know who many of these people are. We just need to put together the cases to get them and that`s what this unit`s gonna be able to do," said Schimel.
"Ultimately, all we can do is get the ball in the red zone. Getting it over the goal line requires a close collaboration between the police and all of the available prosecutorial resources," Chief Flynn said.
Out of the 86 homicide victims in Milwaukee this year, eight are 17 or younger -- including the most recent victim.
Breanna Eskridge died after she was shot multiple times on Sunday night, July 19th near 12th and Concordia.
Mayor Tom Barrett says the amount of young victims adds to the urgency of this situation. The hope is that with more local prosecutors and more gun cases being tried in federal court, officials can take a number of violent criminals off the street.
"No parent should ever face the prospect of having to bury their child because their child is a victim of violence. Yet that`s what we see in this city," Mayor Barrett said.
Officials say the plan announced Monday are mean to provide police and prosecutors with tools that will help build solid cases against those facing gun charges.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.