Is Milwaukee Safer One Year After Laylah Petersen's Death

Laylah's death produced an outpouring of shock and grief all over the city.

Organizers call a police chaplaincy program the single biggest direct response to Laylah Petersen's death. That program’s goal is to be there for people hit by tragedy, while also changing the community.

Pastor Alexis Twito wears a purple band as a reminder of Petersen, a little girl she never met but who meant so much. 

Twito said "The senseless death of a child; it hits us in places we didn't even know were vulnerable."

The emotion over five year-old Laylah Petersen's death was clear, especially from Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

Twito was one of two pastors to console Petersen’s family after the five year-old's death.

A year later; she organizes the chaplaincy program, a team of people who specialize in being there to help people during a tragedy.         

She said, "So this is Laylah's legacy because it's a way for us to make sure that nobody is alone in times of crisis and that officers know they are not alone."

Pastor Richard Schwoegler is working to bring different parts of the community together to make it safer, which includes Twito and the chaplaincy program.

There's also the adopt-a-neighborhood programs, he says those adopted areas are seeing a drop off in crime.

"Is it going to be completely stopped? No... Is it completely safe? No. But it's getting a lot better." Schwogler said.

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