Neighborhood Safety Initiative extended
On September 7, I was joined by Common Council President Willie Hines, Finance & Personnel Committee Chair Alderman Michael Murphy and Milwaukee Police Chief Nan Hegerty to announce the extension of the very successful Neighborhood Safety Initiative (NSI) through the end of September.
This highly successful policing strategy has impacted a reduction in crime throughout the entire City, but it comes at a tremendous cost. Extending the already $2 million program an extra three weeks until September 30 will cost the City $405,000.
President Hines, Alderman Murphy and I agreed to some serious belt-tightening to make this happen. Chief Hegerty has decided to delay by two weeks the start of the September police recruit class which will provide $105,000 without impacting the new recruits' ability to hit the streets next June. The additional money will come from a hiring freeze throughout other City departments and a hold on equipment purchases and other expenditures through the remainder of the year.
But the investment worth it. Due to the success of this program there has been a 9.4% drop in the homicide rate and a 19% decline in non-fatal shootings compared to last year. Even more impressive, we have seen a 25.5% fall in homicide rates in contrast to 2005. According to reports ending for the week of September 9th, 2007 show the police made 107 arrests, resulting in 47 drug charges, and the confiscation of 7 illegal firearms.