'Stop the violence': Milwaukee committed to fewer shootings, homicides in 2021 after unprecedented year

’Stop the violence’: Milwaukee committed to fewer shootings, homicides in 2021 after unprecedented year

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee set a new homicide record in 2020. The city's Office of Violence Prevention says it's committed to bringing down the violent crime statistics this year.

Several communities organizations, including 414 LIFE, gathered near 34th and Hampton on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the site of Milwaukee's first and second homicides of the year hoping to start to make that change.

They went door to door spreading information about resources available and handing out neon care care packages.

"Everybody's welcome to come out here and join us to stop the violence in our city," said Hamid Abd-Al-Jabbar, outreach supervisor for 414 LIFE. "There's something we can do to turn this around and so this is the start of that."

Milwaukee ended 2020 with 189 homicides, which shattered the previous record set back in 1991.

"We weren't the only city that broke its homicide record. Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, other cities also exceeded record-breaking homicide numbers ... The pandemic was the common denominator around the country," said Reggie Moore, injury and violence prevention director for the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention.

Moore said he is committed to creating a better 2021.

"We want to work with as many groups as possible to ensure that the level of violence that this neighborhood has been hit with does not continue this year," Moore said.

Two people were shot and killed Saturday morning, including a 13-year-old girl.

"No child in our city should be shot or killed. That's absolutely unacceptable," Moore said.

He said last year, the city had more shootings involving children and more road rage.

"It just should be a wake-up call to all other young people. Like, let's get around some positive people and do some positive things because life can change at any given second," said Lanisha Martin, an advocate with Running Rebels.

Moore wants to see more state and federal funding for violence prevention and an investment in mental health.

"It's very important that everybody get involved because it's all of our problem," Abd-Al-Jabbar said.

Anyone with information in either of the homicides that happened Saturday morning is asked to call Milwaukee police or Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.

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