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Chaplain community outreach taking root in Milwaukee to weed out criminal activity

 Just days after putting out the call for chaplains to joins Milwaukee Police this summer for community outreach, organizers are encouraged by the initial turnout for an information meeting on Wednesday at the Salvation Army near 26th and Walnut.

Richard Schwoegler of Faith Builders and Tom Thuecks of the Salvation Army say 70 people turned out. The plan is to divide them and to assign to each of the Milwaukee Police Department's District buildings for crisis response when crimes occur but also follow up visits with the victim's family, neighbors and even suspect's families.

Both men were special lives guests on the CBS 58 News at 4 p.m. which is trying to respond to viewers requests for more in depth, unedited discussion about possible solutions to the gun violence problem in Milwaukee. 

\"It's going to give them hope,\" Schwoegler said of the work with victim families. \"Let them know their sons and daughters didn't die for no reason. It's saying let's unite and that's exactly what's happening.\"

Both men emphasized that this was multi-denominational and multi-cultural. The Chaplain would be expected to work with many activists, residents and officers in forming an adopt a neighborhood program or whatever program is agreed upon and working for that particular district.

Thuecks said he wasn't sure they'd be talking directly with known criminal elements. \"But we do want to reach out to the perpetrator's family and find out what we can do to help them to change what's going on here in Milwaukee.\"

The next step is training for the Chaplains at the Milwaukee Police and Safety Academy at 6680 N. Teutonia Avenue in Milwaukee from Tuesday the 26th through Friday the 29th 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Only then can interested volunteers receive certification as a Chaplain with the Salvation Army.

There is still time to fill out an application and be considered for training.

You can call (262) 227-1987 and ask for Richard or call the Salvation Army in Wauwatosa at (800) 264-6412.  

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