Milwaukee Murders At Lowest Point In 23 Years–Will It Last?


Last year’s 71 homicides in Milwaukee represent the fewest killings in the city since 1985. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says officials attribute the decrease partly to improved cooperation among law enforcement agencies and policing focused on the most violent neighborhoods. Nonfatal shootings also declined from 2007, but they accounted for more than 400 victims, a reminder that the homicide total could easily have been much higher. Homicides fell 32.4 percent from 2007, when 105 people were killed. “It’s an amazing drop,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “It’s something I’m very, very pleased with. Obviously, we want the drop to continue. One homicide is one homicide too many.”

Police Chief Edward Flynn said targeting neighborhoods where violent crime is concentrated played a role. “The primary goal was to disrupt crime and to disrupt the environment where crime has been most stable,” Flynn said. “We understood that if we could do that effectively, we could have a substantial effect on the amount of deadly violence that was related to that crime.” Stan Stojkovic, dean of the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said it was difficult to determine immediately the exact causes of the large decrease in killings. “This thing could be a flip. Next year, we could see 150 (homicides),” Stojkovic he. “It’s hard to make any definitive statements about cause.”


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