EXCLUSIVE: Chief Ed Flynn Says Overall Crime is Down in Milwaukee

End of the year numbers released by Milwaukee Police show 2016 crime totals were down compared to 2015. 

Chief Ed Flynn released those numbers to CBS-58 Thursday night, detailing a decrease in homicides, violent crimes, robberies, and auto thefts.

     "This department is working hard," says Flynn. "It's important that the community recognize that progress is being made." 

Homicides were down 3%, robberies were down 13%, auto thefts were down 16%, and violent crime was down 4%. 

       "Nobody is celebrating at the police department," says Flynn. "But it is a decrease." 

Flynn also highlighted a shocking number of guns seized by Milwaukee Police officers. In 2016, the department seized 2,419 guns off the streets. Per capita, that's more than Chicago, and New York City combined. 

     "With 600,000 people, we only seized 1,000 fewer guns than the entire City of New York did last year. And although Chicago seized more guns than we did, their rate per 100,000 was about 240, and ours was 406," says Flynn. "We seize firearms at a very high rate." 

Flynn says those guns were all turned over to the state to be destroyed. 

     "These are seizures, these aren't finding guns in an alleyway or in a garbage can or as a result of a gun buy back, these are evidence guns," he says. 

Despite those milestones, Flynn says the department is still struggling to control a few areas of crime, specifically, juvenile car thefts. 

In 2016, 431 juveniles were arrested for Operating a Vehicle Without Owner's Consent, a 29% increase from 2015. On a 5-year scale, that number is a %242 increase.

11 juveniles were also arrested 4 or more times for stealing cars. 

     "That's a real challenge for us right now, and we're really asking for help," says Flynn. "Our police department's not advocating that children be treated like hardened criminals, but there's got to be some meaningful consequence for this crime, and right now, there isn't." 

Other negative numbers show a 10% increase in rape, a 36% increase in arson, and a 5% increase in burglary. 

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