'We need your help': Milwaukee police chief, mayor call on public for help after violent weekend
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- City leaders are concerned after a violent weekend in Milwaukee and they're calling on the public to report potential threats before they turn deadly.
The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) reports 19 non-fatal shooting victims, three homicide victims, four juvenile victims and five female victims. Four people were arrested.
"I am not afraid to say this without any hesitation. We need your help," Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said. "This cannot be just the Milwaukee Police Department begging and waiting for information to come."
City leaders are hoping that more than a dozen shootings on the warmest weekend of the year so far isn't a precursor of what's to come this summer.
"It's disgusting, quite frankly. No kid in this city, or anywhere in this state or in this country, should have to live in an environment like that, where they can't go outside and play or have to worry about being shot. We shouldn't have a community like that," Mayor Cavalier Johnson said.
Johnson said the reasons for violence are not simple, and therefore the solutions aren't either.
He points to trauma, lack of stability, lack of access to family support and work, and poverty as driving forces of violent behavior in Milwaukee.
"The problems that we saw here didn't just spring up overnight, didn't just spring up this weekend. These have been decades in the making," Johnson said.
Johnson said putting an end to gun violence begins with a collaborative approach. He wants to see more outreach at the city level and gun reform at the state level.
"There's so many, so many issues that we have to get our arms around in this community for everyone to stop seeing the rash of shootings that we have in this community," Johnson said.
The Office of Violence Prevention recently received $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that will be spent over a five-year period. They're using that money to expand their team and efforts in neighborhoods where violence is spreading.
While city leaders are asking for the public's help in turning the gun violence trend around, Norman wants people to know his department is doing what they can to stop it.
"MPD is watching. We're not just sitting on the sidelines," Norman said.
MPD encourages people to report potential threats and reminds them they can stay anonymous.