After two high-profile crimes shook Milwaukee this week, Mayor Tom Barrett disagreed with Police Chief Nannette Hegerty, who said, “I think we have a societal crisis,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reprots. Replied Barrett: “I would not call it a crisis because we’re going to deal with it.” He spoke after a 22-year-old Special Olympian was shot and killed during a robbery and an 11-year-old girl reportedly was sexually assaulted by as many as 19 people. Stephen Gilbertson, a psychologist who oversees treatment programs for Milwaukee County children charged with sexual misconduct, agreed with Hegerty that, “Certainly, within segments of our society, there is a kind of breakdown of moral barriers.”
Barrett said police overtime is up and a new class of recruits is being trained ahead of schedule. Police are going after curfew violators and penalties for cruising have been enhanced. Surveillance cameras will go into neighborhoods to supplement those in public housing and libraries. He said cities could use more help from the federal government, which no longer funds much of the Clinton administration’s COPS program. “There’s so much spent on homeland security, and there are lot of legitimate issues there, but I would love to see Congress pay some attention to hometown security,” he said.