Business owners say cop initiative showing positive impact

NOW: Business owners say cop initiative showing positive impact

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A new initiative designed to put more police officers on the streets of Milwaukee’s south side has been in effect for several months now.

CBS 58 spoke with business owners and residents to see if it’s working.

The initiative started back in October.

Some of the biggest concerns were prostitution, panhandling, and drugs. In order to make neighborhoods safer, the Milwaukee Police Department has added more officers out on the streets in District 2.

The first stop for officers Matthew Diener and Michael Walker was a local convenience store off National Avenue.

“One of the quality of life issues with his business is he gets a lot of panhandling and prostitution on this corner,” Pointed out Officer Walker. “We try to stop and address those issues. He now gets a lot of retail thefts.”

A total of 21 officers have been assigned to a neighborhood inside of District 2 to build relationships, have a presence within the community, and gain trust.

“Thanks to the Alderman [Perez] for putting these officers in the neighborhood, patrolling, and walking on foot,” says Muhammad Mustafa, a local business owner.

“Definitely seen an improvement,” says David Stacknik, president of Lindsay Foods. “There have been less people hanging out in the back in the past couple of months.”

Officers Diener and Walker not only meet with resident and businesses but also look for anything out of place like squatters and other illegal activity.

“I just hope it stays this way when the warmer weather comes around,” says Stacknik. “I hope that the police force keeps a presence in the neighborhood."

Alderman Jose Perez and officers at District 2 say in order to keep things safe they still encourage people to call with their concerns and get to know the officers in their neighborhood.

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