The South Milwaukee Police Department presented its 2017 annual report to the common council last week, and it contained some really good news.
Crime was down significantly in 2017. And it continues to be into this year.
Check out the report here. From page 19 …
In 2017, South Milwaukee experienced a decrease in property crimes. Violent crime reports also decreased. Property crime decreases are due to the decreases in all categories. Violent crime decreases are due to decreases in aggravated battery and robbery.
Some numbers …
And here is better news: Overall crime is also down significantly in the first quarter of this year — 28%, from 250 incidents to 180 — from the same period in 2017. That includes a 30.1% decrease in property crime (166 reported incidents to 116) and 23.8% decrease in “crimes against persons” (42 to 32), including a reduction in reported burglaries (18 to seven). Robberies (four incidents) were up slightly.
Of course, no one is declaring victory. Far from it.
There are still plenty of challenges facing our city and our officers every day, starting with the opioid crisis. And one crime is too many.
But the news is encouraging, and I’m convinced we are doing the right things to continue to keep these numbers heading the right direction, even in times of change.
From Chief Jessup’s letter in the report …
2017 proved to be a year of significant change within the agency, with retirements and new additions to the team. Lieutenant Cary Fischer retired in April, after 27 years of service to our community. I want to thank him for his service and wish him the best in his retirement. The agency also saw a new member, Officer Matthew Kramer, begin his career with us. In addition, Public Safety Officers Aaron Hemman and Kelly Champeau, along with Clerk Madeline Stratton joined our agency. I want to welcome them and thank them in advance for what I hope will be years of dedication and commitment to this community.
I am gratified by the efforts of all members of our department as they work each day to make our city safer, but it is vitally important to recognize that we cannot accomplish our mission alone. Sir Robert Peel, a British police reformer considered by many to be the father of modern policing, framed the essential relationship by stating “The police are the public and the public are the police.” This concept is as true today as it was when he first made that declaration. To truly be successful we must partner with you, the public, and we must rely on all of you to assist us in identifying problems and developing solutions that make our community as safe as possible. I want to thank you for your continued support and I welcome your participation and feedback as we work side-by-side to address the challenges that lie ahead.
Thanks to the entire department for all they do, and to all of our residents who play an active role in fighting crime. We need you as community partners to make South Milwaukee as safe as it can be … and to continue this positive trend.