Thursday, December 21, 2017

FBI/Police Gang Task Enforcement Expanded To Milwaukee's Southside To Reduce Crime Hot Spots

The Milwaukee Police Department notified the Fire and Police Commission that it will expand the FBI/Police Gang Task Enforcement unit to the 2nd Milwaukee Police District Station to deal with the high volume of reported crime.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

December 21, 2017

Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday, Milwaukee Assistant Police Chief James Harpole notified the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (F&PC) that the FBI/Police Gang Task Force Enforcement unit will be housed at the 2nd Milwaukee Police District Station and is being funded by the FBI. Two detectives, two police officers and several Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents will manage the gang task force. The gang unit will concentrate on hot spots where crime is on the increase, especially where gambling, solicitation and drug dealings has been reported. Two drug dealing hots were identified by the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), area 1 is located from W. National Ave. to W. Burnham St. between S. 15th St. to S. 29th St.; area 2 is located from W. Lincoln Ave. to W. Harrison Ave. between S. 8th St. to S. 12th St. 
The soliciting hot spot area was identified by MPD from W. National Ave. to W. Mitchell St. between S. 17th St. to S. 28th St.
In 2015, an FBI statistic report indicated that the "LGN" route or W. Lincoln Ave., W. Greenfield Ave. and W. National Ave. corridor strips in Milwaukee's Southside were known nationally as a human trafficking area.
Those police officers assigned to the gang unit will receive at least $18,000 in overtime pay each for investigations and officers will drive federal vehicles as well. The gang unit will remain at the District 2 until crime is diminished, according to Harpole.  
Assist. Chief Harpole testified at the hearing that this year alone in District 2, homicides increased by 36%, this time last year 11 homicides were reported and so far, 15 homicides were reported this year in District 2. Non-fatal shootings in 2017 increased by 69%, this time last year 55 victims were injured compared to 96 victims this year related to robbery and drugs, also aggravated assaults increased 22% compared to last year.
MPD also reported that in Wisconsin Opioid overdose deaths total 827 in 2016 compared to 2017, as of December 14, 357 deaths were contributed to overdose of drugs County-wide, which 302 deaths were opiate-related. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiners Office reported that 80 - 90% of County drug overdose deaths are a result of opioids. 
In the City of Milwaukee, as of November 30, 2017 about 191 opioid deaths were reported with another 60 deaths under investigation pending confirmation that are most likely opioid related compared to 191 opioid deaths reported in 2016, 152 in 2015, 118 in 2014 and 94 opioid deaths in 2013.
Between 2013 to 2016 of opioid deaths in the City of Milwaukee, 58% were White, 32% were Black, 3% were Hispanic and 2% were classified as other, and 63% were male and 37% were female victims, according to the MPD report.
This year the opioid overdose deaths surpassed the homicide rate of 108 victims and traffic related deaths of 58, up to November 30.
MPD officers saved 22 overdose victims by administering Naloxone (Narcan) in 2016 and 33 victims in 2017, Assist. Chief Harpole confirmed and also stated that the Milwaukee Fire Department rescue response units had saved at least 3,000 overdosing victims with Narcan.
MPD has assigned 16 police officers, detectives including supervisors to the Opioid Task Force (OTF) to investigate deaths and to identify those responsible (suppliers) for selling drugs to victims of addiction resulting in deaths related opiate cases for prosecution. The OTF will also work to arrest drug dealers before they cause more opiate deaths.
The F&PC tabled the MPD Standard Operating Procedure #910 (MDPSOP) Civil Disturbance and Crowd Management until the City Attorney provides an opinion to make sure the policy doesn't violate any civil rights of citizens. The MPDSOP 910 policy provides guidelines for police officers to follow during a perceived riot to maintain crowd control and the peace. A copy of the #910 proposed policy was released, but most of the text was redacted, so a request was made by one member of the F&PC for MPD to make it public without being redacted for the public to review it and have some input in a community hearing setting before the Commission approves the measure.

MPD began a Traffic Enforcement Surge on October 16, 2017 and will continue to January 1, 2018 resulting in the identification of 50 locations in the City where high crime and crashes intersect. Many of the crashes involved juveniles and young adult chronic offenders with stolen vehicles. Police officers have cited offenders for speeding, reckless driving, red light violations and failing to yield to pedestrians.

• Traffic stops in the City by police have increased by 56% with a 111% citation result, which has decreased crashes by 12% in Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety areas (DDACTS).
Between October 16 to December 16, 2017, in DDACTS areas traffic stops increased by 136% with 10,733 citations issued, a 885% increase compared to 2016 same time with 1,090 citations issued, which decreased non-fatal shootings, robbery and motor vehicle thefts by 15% in 2017.

• Citywide crime decreased: non-fatal shootings by -29%, robbery by -9%, motor vehicle theft by -25% and crashes declined by 6%.

• Traffic fatalities compared to non-fatal injuries crashes

August 15 to December 16, 2017, deaths reported at 16 and injuries at 1,402

August 15 to December 16, 2016, deaths reported at 27 and injuries at 1,813

Update: MPD reported that 2017 had 64 traffic fatalities as a result of vehicles involved in deadly crashes and tied the fatality total with 2015.

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