South Milwaukee Police Department Publishes 2018 Annual Report

The South Milwaukee Police Department has published its annual report, and it shows strong progress in a number of key areas.

Check out the report here. Among the headlines Chief Jessup shared at last week’s council meeting, where he presented the report …

  • Five year crime trends are very positive, with violent crime down 33 percent and property crime down 32 percent.
  • In 2018, there was a 12 percent reduction in crime, including a 18 percent decline in robberies, 35 percent reduction in burglaries and 12 percent drop in theft. Aggravated assaults were up from 15 incidents to 23 incidents; most were domestic violence cases.
  • Officers responded to more than 29,000 calls for service in 2018, up from about 26,000 in 2016.
  • Adult arrests increased from 452 in 2017 to 537 in 2018.
  • The department saw five retirements, including Chief Ann Wellens. We added five new officers, and three new clerks and dispatchers.
  • More than 1,600 citations were issued for speeding, OWI, and license and seat belt violations, although officers use discretion — half of all stops result in warnings.
  • The department also increased its focus on being a visible presence on the streets and in the neighborhoods. Officers performed almost 7,000 business checks in 2018, and did more than 1,110 “park and walks.”
  • That visibility will only increase, with increased bicycle patrols in 2019, including the partnership with Cheata Bikes.
  • Officers also continued to work closely with the schools, businesses and churches to conduct risk assessments and conduct active threat training. We partnered with the South Milwaukee School District to help the district obtain state funds for safety enhancements in all public schools. Other community efforts include the continuation of the DARE program, Shop with a Cop, Community Night Out, Stuff the Squad and Coffee with a Cop.

Here is the letter from Chief Jessup …

To the citizens of South Milwaukee, Mayor Erik Brooks, City Administrator Tami Mayzik, the South Milwaukee Common Council, the South Milwaukee Police & Fire Commission, and members of the South Milwaukee Police Department:

I am pleased to present to you the South Milwaukee Police Department Annual Report for 2018. While the report may look different from those of the past, I believe you will find that it continues to provide an accurate overview of the challenges and accomplishments, as well as the activities undertaken by our staff to enhance public safety in our community.

2018 began with a change in leadership at the top of the department as Chief Ann Wellens retired after more than 28 years of service. For the past 13 years she skillfully led the organization and made important changes in technology and training that kept the agency at the forefront of modern policing. I want to thank Ann for her service and wish her the best in her retirement. She leaves a legacy of progress and professionalism that will continue to pay dividends in future years and she will truly be missed.

Officer Dave Stratton and Officer Francis Rotter also retired during 2018 and we thank them for their commitment and service to the community over the past 26 years. I want to welcome Officers Garrett Rogers, Kevin Scheidt, Brennyn Sibley, Stephan Goratowski and Caitlin Schmidt to the department, as well as two new dispatchers, Elizabeth Williams and Connor Dews. They are proving to be fantastic additions to our staff of dedicated public servants.

Policing in a free society requires a partnership with the community and that partnership must be based on a mutually agreed-upon set of goals and values. We strive to make our city safer through a community-based policing strategy that is responsive to the needs of individuals and businesses while following a set of principles that fosters mutual respect. Above all else, we value the sanctity of life, hold ourselves accountable and follow the Constitution. These basic but important doctrines will continue to guide our actions as we work in partnership with the community to address ongoing and emerging issues. We thank you for your support and look forward to working with you to make South Milwaukee healthier and stronger.

Sincerely, Chief William Jessup

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