Common Ground voted to accept South Side Public Safety Action as a new issue campaign at the April 26th Delegates’ Assembly. Over the past two years, our South Side Caucus identified the top two areas that south side residents wanted to change. Construction of an indoor soccer facility is one. The other is improving public safety.
During the assembly, members heard stories from south side residents about the impact increased crime is having on their children, their families and their community – and about their efforts to get help from the police. The residents are committed to staying in their community and working with the Milwaukee Police Department to make their neighborhoods safer, but they’re increasingly afraid to go out at night or to take walks in their neighborhoods. Children aren’t allowed to play outside. Many report being put on hold for over a half hour when they call the police for help or to report a crime. Others feel that the police are indifferent to them or worse, hostile. Community leaders have tried to change this situation with little success. It’s an issue that needs support from the entire Milwaukee body politic. Common Ground is that force. We are committed to improving public safety on the south side.
The South Side Public Safety Action campaign has clear objectives:
- Reduce crime on targeted chronic blocks.
- Improve communication when reporting crimes.
- Strengthen the relationship between the police and the Latino community.
- Strengthen Common Ground’s relationship with Chief Flynn.
The first step is for Common Ground to meet with Chief Flynn to establish a new relationship between theMilwaukee Police Department and the Latino community. Specific actions:
- Work with Chief Flynn on a collaborative strategy to reduce crime on the south side.
- MPD to hire more bilingual operators to improve responsiveness to the Latino community
- MPD to reassure immigrants in the community that they can contact police without fear of being separated from their families.