Milwaukee homicide rate up 96% compared to this time last year

NOW: Milwaukee homicide rate up 96% compared to this time last year

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The City of Milwaukee's homicide rate is up 96 percent compared to last year at this time, according to statistics from the city's crime maps. 

Milwaukee Police Department's Crime and Statistics Map breaks down year-to-date homicides, assaults, burglaries, thefts and more crime within the city. 

The chart shows by the beginning of May 2019, Milwaukee had 25 homicides. In 2020, Milwaukee has had 49 homicides as of May 4, according to the data. 

In 2019, Milwaukee had a total of 97 homicides. 

"We are aware of the increase. We are taking proactive measures to address that homicide rate. We are concerned mainly with the domestic violence homicides right now," said MPD Acting Assistant Chief Paul Formolo. 

Formolo says the department identified it as a growing issue last fall. 

"Domestic violence is our main concern along with inter-partner violence, sometimes we have relationships that don’t necessarily meet the domestic violence criteria such as boyfriend, girlfriend, so when you put all of that together, we are seeing a spike in that type of violence," he said. 

He said every week the department conducts a review of homicides and non-fatal shootings. 

"The point of the shoot review is to identify the root cause of problems and try to, as a team, develop solutions and strategies to address the issues," he said. 

Formolo said the sensitive crimes division is highly focused on domestic violence and inter-partner relationship issues. 

"We've had an increase in homicide rate since the fall of last year," said Carmen Pitre, CEO and President of Sojourner Family Peace Center. 

Pitre says as of this time last year, there were four domestic violence homicides. So far this year, she says there have been 23. 

"That's a challenge for all of us in this city, that's a challenge for the police department, which is why it's important for us to talk about what's available," she said. 

Milwaukee County has posted a number of resources available for people in a domestic violence situation. 

Pitre says it's important for domestic violence survivors to have a safety conversation with an advocate who is trained to walk them through all of the considerations that need to be looked at around the violence in their life. 

If one of those options is a restraining order, Sojourner Family Peace Center can help. To get help, call 414-278-5079, leave a name and a safe number to call. An advocate will call back and will help process the restraining order online, which is how those are being processed right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"An advocate will call you back and will help you process the restraining order online and help you get it through to the court and the court will make a decision by the next business day about your temporary order," said Pitre. 

To get help in person, go to the Sojourner Family Peace Center, located at 619 W. Walnut Street in Milwaukee. 

To get help for domestic violence, call 211. For information on other domestic violence resources, click here. 

CLICK HERE to view MPD's Crime and Statistics Map. 

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