After analyzing numbers, mapping deaths, and collecting data on Milwaukee homicides, law enforcement and social service agencies have found strength in a simple approach: talking, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A study is being conducted by the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission, including everyone from beat cops to FBI agents to agencies such as public school security. “It’s all about making the city a better place, reducing the violence we’re seeing, reducing the homicides we’re seeing,” said Mallory O’Brien, a Harvard School of Public Health researcher leading the project.
The commission, which its creators say is the first of its kind in the nation, started in May 2005 using $600,000 worth of grants to fund three years of study. Part of what has happened since then is a regular meeting of law enforcement officials, something that did not occur before the commission began. “To get them to sit around a table and talk about cases and feel comfortable enough to share information on these cases is a huge step,” O’Brien said. Homicide increased 17 percent citywide between the end of 2004 and 2006; 90 percent of homicide suspects and 77 percent of homicide victims had prior arrests. One out of every four homicide suspects was on probation or parole at the time.