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Milwaukee Mayor Says Communication, Collaboration Keys To Reducing Gun Violence

Mayor, Police Chief Attended New Orleans Conference This Week


Milwaukee’s mayor is promising more efforts to try to prevent African-American men from dying in gun violence.

Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and other city leaders spent some time in New Orleans this week at a National League of Cities conference that ramped up a project called Cities United. The project aims to stop the violence that organizers say nationally kills 13 African-American men and boys every 24 hours. Most of the victims of gun violence in Milwaukee are young black males.

Barrett said one thing he’s bringing away from the conference is to go ahead with a collaboration with the faith community.

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“We’ve worked very, very closely with a number of pastors for formulating a gun buyback program we’re going to incorporate as part of our ‘Ceasefire Sabbath,’” Barrett said.

Ceasefire Sabbath is an annual event that asks clergy in Milwaukee to promote peace and non-violence.

Barrett also wants Milwaukee police to keep focusing on violence hot spots in the city, but have good relations with the community.

“I need to have our city be a city where community trusts the police department and the police department trusts the community,” he said.

In other words, Barrett said open communication. He said he’s also hoping a privately funded youth jobs program this summer will hire 3,000 people.