For the first time since Police Chief Edward Flynn took command in 2008, the department reported an increase in violent crime in Milwaukee last year as it jumped by 9.4 percent compared with the year before, reports the city’s Journal Sentinel. The increase was fueled by a 33 percent spike in aggravated assaults, police said. Domestic violence-related assaults were behind that increase, up 48 percent last year compared with the year before. Flynn did not hold a news conference as he had often done earlier, when crime dropped, but rather issued a statement that cautioned against making too much of a single year’s change.
A closer look at the 2012 violent crime number, however, reveals the total was not only higher than 2011, it was higher than each year since 2008, the first year Flynn was chief in Milwaukee. The increase in violent crimes comes following a Journal Sentinel investigation last year that found Milwaukee police had misreported thousands of violent assaults, rapes, robberies and burglaries as less serious offenses, and failed to correct the problems or publicly disclose them, even though department officials, including a top data analyst, were raising red flags for years.