Ceasefire Week begins in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- A week-long anti-violence initiative has begun in Milwaukee.


The police chief, district attorney and Mayor Tom Barrett were joined by members of the faith-baed community to kick off the 10th year for Ceasefire Week.


A new event for the initiative is a gun buyback program.


Weapons can be dropped off for cash with no questions asked.


Rifles or shotguns are worth a $50 bank card, handguns are worth $100 and assault weapons $200.


Members of the community have pushed the city for such a program, and now, the plea is being answered by the private sector.


Milwaukee scrap metal businesses are funding the buy-back.


Members of the faith based community learned last month all of the guns turned in will be shredded, melted down and turned into garden tools.


All of those involved know the buy back is not the ultimate solution to the city's violence, but say it's a critical start.


There are a number of Ceasefire Week events to encourage the community to step up and speak out against crime. They are:


Tuesday, May 13: Community Forum on Gun Violence, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Wells Street


Wednesday, May 14: Milwaukee Police Spring Merit Awards, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Safety Academy, 6680 Teutonia Avenue


Saturday, May 17: Ceasefire Community Walk, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, 2500 W. Medford Avenue to Northside YMCA


Saturday, May 17: Gun BuyBack, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, 2500 W. Medford Avenue


Sunday, May 18: 10th Annual Ceasefire Sabbath, All faith communities asked to preach messages of peace

Also on Monday, the South Side's Neighborhood Ambassadors will return to the area, Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan said.

Wearing brightly-colored shirts, the W-2 participants gain job training and work experience while picking up litter, removing graffiti and keeping an eye out for possible criminal activity.

At Monday's news conference, Alderman Donovan was joined by the newest group of ambassadors, neighborhood residents and business owners, and representatives from partner organizations UMOS (United Migrant Opportunity Services) and Journey House.

Ambassadors will work in the Operation Impact area on weekdays this summer. The area is bounded by W. Pierce St. on the north, W. Lincoln Ave. on the south, S. 16th Street/S. Cesar Chavez Dr. on the east and S. 38th St. on the west. Between 15 and 20 ambassadors are expected to participate in the program, and staff from Journey House and UMOS will be supervising the ambassadors.


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