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MKE Safe City effort highlights summer activities to deter violence

By Mary Jo Ola,


Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson held a news conference with several community organizations Friday to announce the MKE Safer City initiative, another way to deter violence.

Heading into the summer, MPD data show homicides are down almost 40%, and non-fatal shootings are down nearly 10% compared to this time last year.

"That's exactly why we do this, to make sure that folks are on the right path so they don't end up in situations like that," Mayor Johnson said.

The initiative unites community groups to highlight positive opportunities for young people this summer. Organizations including the United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee Rec, and Journey talked about the array of programs and jobs they will offer this summer.

The announcement came hours after four teens were shot near 38th and Roberts overnight. Milwaukee Police say the victims are between the ages of 16 and 19. They are expected to survive.

What led up to the shooting is unclear. MPD is still searching for the suspect.

Ellia Thomas, who lives nearby, said her family is moving next week because the violence in the area is too much for her and the kids. Thomas said they hit the floor when they heard the gunshots.

"I said this is not fair to them. They can't come outside and play. They can't interact with the community because we don't know when somebody's going to pop out and shoot," Thomas said.

"When the young people do not feel the warmth of the village, they will burn it down. So I call out to the adults. Let's get our young people into the buildings that we're at, regardless of what it is. We have a plethora of options," Deonte Lewis with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee said.

The non-profit Safe and Sound will serve as a starting point for families to find a good fit.

"These programs and agencies working together it's all the more important. It's basically why we're doing this to keep our kids safe," said Donte Holmes with Safe and Sound.

You can call Safe and Sound at (414) 220-4780 to get started.

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