By Nyesha Stone
There’s a lack of trust when it comes to law enforcement in Milwaukee, and the entire country. Some of that distrust is due to the lack of transparency between law enforcement and the community.
Community Brainstorming decided to step in to provide some transparency to the situation by bringing the community and law enforcement together.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm, Regional Director State Public Defender Tom Reed, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas and Milwaukee Police Department-Chief Al Morales were among those gathered at the meeting.
Each member of the law enforcement gave updates on the status of each department before answering questions from the community.
Morales said he understands the disconnect between the law and the community, but he ensures that the MPD is working to build that trust back up. The previous administration had high numbers of traffic stops, and Morales said the MPD is more focused on making sure they “focus on the right people at the right time.”
“We don’t need to stop everything and everyone that’s moving,” he said.
When it comes to transparency, Morales said the department is focusing on releasing information on high-profile cases.
Lucas gave a quick but powerful speech about coming together to solve Milwaukee’s issues, during which he referred to the Boston Miracle. For over two years, Boston went without any teenage homicide victims in the city and He said Milwaukee can follow Boston’s structure to better our own city.
“I am convinced that we can solve our problems,” said Lucas. “It takes all of us coming together.”
He added that it’s time to check egos and titles at the door, and to put to it all on the line to save our community and young people.
Chisholm said his department is committed to early prevention. When someone goes to jail or gets in trouble there are times when people say it’s not surprising that that specific individual is in trouble.
Chisholm said if we knew someone was going down a wrong path, why not help them before it’s too late?
He wants to focus on sending people to jail who really deserve to be there and providing different alternatives to less harmful individuals instead of sending them to jail.
After about an hour, community members were given their turn to express their concerns and questions.
But mostly, this was an informational meeting for the community.
To stay update on the next community brainstorm, visit http://www.communitybrainstorming.org/.