Mayor, city officials discuss violence in Milwaukee in 2018

NOW: Mayor, city officials discuss violence in Milwaukee in 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's mayor says the city is heading in the right direction when it comes to violence. 

Mayor Tom Barrett held a news conference Sunday to discuss violence in the city in 2018. 

"I think every one of us recognizes that one homicide, one person who loses their life to violence is one homicide too many," Barrett said. 

This year, there have been 99 homicides, according to the Milwaukee Police Department, down from 119 in 2017. 

"I am more hopeful than I have been in the past several years because of the progress we've seen," said Barrett, who noted homicide numbers have been down for three consecutive years. 

Non-fatal shooting numbers are also down 15 percent from 2017, according to data provided at the news conference. 

"In people terms, it comes out to 80 fewer people who have been shot," said Barrett. 

Milwaukee Police Department Assistant Police Chief Steve Caballero spoke at the press conference about the work the police department is doing to help bring homicide numbers down. 

"These numbers are people, there's people behind these numbers," he said. 

Caballero says a shoot review model and a new special investigations division are some of the strategies the department has implemented this year. 

"Special investigations division, just within the 8 months that they started, they recovered 178 firearms, over $300,000 of narcotics money, they've done over 100 search warrants," said Caballero. 

The shoot review model brings together the entire police department once a week to look at homicides and non-fatal shootings. 

"From a perspective as to why they happen. That's important because as we go through this process, we look at the underlying problems in the neighborhood," said Caballero. 

He says they then make recommendations to the Office of Violence Prevention. 

"It really has been the community working in partnership with system partners, with hospitals, the fire department, the police department, to really look at how do we actually address this issue on the front end. And if you think about August, when we saw 14 straight homicides in the first 14 days, calling the community together to say 'What can we do collectively to address this issue?' That momentum has continued and is what a call to action really looks like," said Reggie Moore, director of the Office of Violence Prevention. 

Over the past three years, Moore said, the city has put in $2.5 million to address violence. He calls that a down payment. 

"If we want this momentum continue, there has to be support from the state and there has to be support for violence prevention, in addition for continued support for enforcement and accountability," said Moore. 

Moore also spoke at a vigil held Sunday at Crossing Jordan Ministries to remember victims of homicide in Milwaukee in 2018. 

At the vigil, there were candles with each homicide victim's name, a reminder of the 99 lives lost this year. 

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