Milwaukee police chief addresses crime and community concerns

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman was in the hot seat Thursday at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon.

Norman was named the city’s acting chief of police in December 2020 and was officially named chief of police in November 2021 – continuing to pursue his goals for the city.

“Impact on violent crime, reckless driving, improved community engagement and ensuring departmental accountability,” Norman said. “Today, as I stand before you all, I can say without hesitation that those priorities have not changed.”

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At the Newsroom Pub, the Chief Constable opened the floor for questions. He mentioned that the police department’s traffic safety unit was set to operate a year after public outcry over reckless driving and car thefts.

“I understand what the crime numbers are in 2020 and more recently in 2021 – unacceptable levels of harm in our community,” Norman said. “I am committed to making an impact on these numbers, and it is only by working with our partners and our community that we will make this work.”

Chief of Police Jeffrey Norman

The police chief also acknowledged the alarming record set in Milwaukee last year: nearly 200 homicides.

“One homicide is too much,” Norman said. “We have a problem with our conflict resolution. The second reason for the Milwaukee homicides is that the arguments went wrong.”

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With his official Chief title in place and a new year ahead, Norman said there was a lot of work to be done.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll see through this. I’m hopeful that we see the power of collaboration. I’m hopeful that there are people placed in positions who understand what means their role,” Norman said. “My team is committed to this, and we have to understand that we have to be part of the solution, otherwise you are part of the problem.”

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