Statement of Common Council President Michael J. Murphy
April 16, 2015
It’s been a sad, discouraging week in Milwaukee. My heart goes out to all the families affected by this most recent uptick in incomprehensible violence. Any loss of life is tragic, whether due to violence or accident, but this series of events as it has unfolded in our neighborhoods seemingly defies explanation.
While the sort of senseless acts of violence we’ve seen this week are certainly frightening, we must not simply brush off such atrocities as “common-place.” City leaders and members of the community strive every day to make our community a safer place to live, and the moment we begin to accept these tragedies as inevitable is the moment we’ve lost.
I strongly support Mayor Barrett’s $2,000,000 commitment to continue Milwaukee Police Department efforts to quell the current violence while seeking longer-term solutions that will undercut its root causes. Law enforcement has a very important role to play, even as we institute more comprehensive preventative programs, in particular those targeting youth violence.
As we’ve seen time and time again, many of the perpetrators of the city’s most heinous crimes have a history of criminal activity. By focusing on intervening immediately and effectively when delinquent behavior first occurs, we can prevent delinquent offenders from becoming chronic offenders, committing crimes of escalating seriousness and violence.
Even as this violence leads the evening news, it cannot define who we are as a city. Last night, I attended the MANDI awards with more than 800 people who are working every day to make this city a better place to live. Their efforts are truly inspiring, and I remain committed to working with them, my colleagues on the Common Council and anyone who believes that, with dedicated neighbors and comprehensive solutions, we can overcome the problems Milwaukee faces.