Milwaukee police arrested 14,000 people, seized 200 guns and 37 pounds of cocaine this summer but crime continues to surge, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Police Chief Nannette Hegerty cites a “societal crisis” unfolding in neighborhoods gripped by unstable families, few jobs, rampant drug use, teen pregnancy, and topped with a significant dose of anger and hopelessness. A man who participated in Special Olympics was shot and killed Tuesday in a robbery, and an 11-year-old girl was gang-raped by as many as 19 people.
In parts of the city where shootings and other violence have become commonplace, the crimes were noteworthy for their senselessness and brutality. Hegarty said, “We don’t have enough officers to address the hot spots of violence and respond to the barking dog complaints.” Homicide is down this year, but crime in two other closely watched categories is up from 2005 – assaults by 22 percent and robberies by 36 percent. The chief said other cities are seeing similar trends.