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Anti-Gang Loitering Ordinance Becomes Law

After more than a year of hard work, planning, and preparation, Ald. Tony Zielinski's "Anti-Gang Loitering" Ordinance has passed. 

The Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee Police Association and Sheriff Clarke all supported this initiative as an additional and important tool to help the police department fight crime. This ordinance is the next step in the ongoing quest to provide a pleasant and, above all, safe environment for the residents of Milwaukee.

This ordinance allows the police to disperse gang members in certain situations where they otherwise couldn't. If the gang members refuse to disperse, the police can then issue a massive $5,000 maximum fine. The general loitering ordinance only allows for a $500 maximum fine. 

Mayor Tom Barrett, in support of the ordinance, said the MPD will provide training specifically related to the provisions contained in the ordinance to members of the police force. "Primarily members of the Gang Intelligence Unit and anti-gang officers will carry out enforcement of the ordinance," the Mayor said. 

"The Milwaukee Police Department's Gang Intelligence Unit and anti-gang officers are focused on breaking up criminal gangs and have strong working relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies," Ald. Zielinski said.

 

Citing in part the surge in violence this year that included the shooting death of four-year-old Jasmine Owens and the near-fatal shooting of a 12-year-old girl, Ald. Tony Zielinski held a City Hall news conference in May to build his case for the adoption of his anti-gang loitering ordinance, which he re-introduced and which was approved by the Common Council on June 19th. "The ordinance allows Milwaukee police to disperse gang members who try to control neighborhoods and intimidate law-abiding citizens," Ald. Zielinski said.