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Police, Federal Agents, team up to attack crime in specific Milwaukee corridor

NOW: Police, Federal Agents, team up to attack crime in specific Milwaukee corridor

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS-58) -- For the past year and a half, Milwaukee Police and 4 federal agencies have been quietly focusing resources on a specific part of the city, known for attracting "high-target" criminals. 

It's called the "Center Street Corridor", bordered by 51st Street to the West, and 16th Street to the East. 

The goal, reducing homicides and non-fatal shootings. 

    "We decided to take this concept and rather than try to spread it out city-wide, we would focus on a specific geographic area," says Chief Flynn. "We've achieved significant reduction in violent crime in the area we focused on." 

In 2016, numbers show rape, robbery, burglary, theft, and non-fatal shootings were all down significantly in the corridor. 

Along with the DEA, FBI, ATF, and U.S. Marshalls, Chief Flynn says MPD has been going after "high impact players", responsible for significant amounts of violence. 

That includes 22-year-old Kwesen Sanders, arrested inside the corridor and charged with multiple felonies after police say he assaulted an FBI agent and took off in a stolen car. Sanders has a lengthy criminal record, including numerous other crimes inside the "corridor." 

    "We want to focus on the ones that are having the greatest negative impact on our their neighborhoods," says Flynn.

The program is catching the attention of other police departments across the country, including New Orleans Police. The department was in Milwaukee this week, along with federal law enforcement leaders.

    "The city of Milwaukee is a city we've been following very closely," says New Orleans Deputy Police Chief Paul Noel. 

Noel says his department is in the process of establishing a similar "corridor" in New Orleans. 

    "Other cities are looking at this because it's been successful," says DOJ Liaison Terry Gainer. "What they did here, and what the chief asked them to do, was to buy in specifically to the problems of Milwaukee." 

While 2016 was a success, 2017 numbers have trended in the other direction. So far this year, there have been 17 homicides in the corridor, which averages just over 13. 

    "We lost some ground in 2017 because the nature of policing is when you achieve success sometimes at a location, the temptation is to go somewhere else that's having a problem. You run the risk if you do that too soon, the problem you're abating begins to re-emerge." 

Flynn says the 5 agencies are re-committing to that specific area.

MPD will be a part of the PSP initiative through September 2019.

The goal is to see a 20% reduction in gun crime in the corridor by next September. 

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