Trending Toward a Safer City: South Milwaukee Police Department Files 2019 Annual Report

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The South Milwaukee Police Department presented its annual report on Tuesday, and there is a good news for our city.

Crime is down, service is up and there is some great work going on in the department. I thank our officers and staff for it, and for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe every day.

Check out the report here, and watch Chief Jessup’s presentation here (starting at around the 42:00 mark). There are also a couple charts in this post showing strong and sustained decreases in crime — trends that have thankfully continued into the first quarter of 2020.

That is something all of South Milwaukee can be proud of.

Here is Chief Jessup’s introductory letter ….

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:

In 2019 I completed my second year as Chief of Police for the South Milwaukee Police Department. Each and every day I am proud to serve this City and this Department, and I am grateful for your support, confidence and enthusiasm as our officers diligently work to keep our community safe. I am pleased to present to you the 2019 South Milwaukee Police Department Annual Report and I believe you will find that it provides an accurate overview of the challenges and accomplishments, as well as the activities undertaken by our staff to enhance public safety in our community.

The past year brought some notable changes to our staff, with the retirements of Officer Dave Kozlowski and Officer Carol Olson. We thank them for their lengthy and impactful service to the City of South Milwaukee, and wish them a long and healthy retirement. In 2019 we were joined by two new police officers, Adam Harnen and Gerrit Verhagen. They are great additions to our force and are looking forward to serving this community for many years. We were also joined by a new dispatcher, Sarah Vosberg, and a new police clerk, Jenna Czerwinski. They are proving to be excellent additions to our
staff.

The police profession comes with many challenges. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of our nation spoke of it in this way. He said “the duties which a police officer owes to the state are of a most exacting nature. No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer, but having chosen it, everyone is obliged to live up to the standard of its requirements. To join in that high enterprise means the surrender of much individual freedom.” These are important concepts to consider as we continue to advance the department’s mission and vision. Our members are committed to their profession and will work tirelessly on behalf of our citizens while laying the groundwork for future generations.

Nevertheless, our relationship with the citizens we serve is the cornerstone of our profession, and the work we do must be based on a mutual respect. 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.

There is one truism in public safety; our work is never done. As we move forward, we will surely encounter new challenges but I am confident in our members and grateful for the support of our community. In partnership, we will overcome those difficulties to make South Milwaukee healthier and stronger. 

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