County Executive David Crowley Statement on Recent Acts of Gun Violence
County Executive David Crowley released the following statement Tuesday May 4, 2021 regarding the recent outbreak of gun related violence in Milwaukee County:
“On behalf of all of Milwaukee County, I share a sense of urgency with many in the community regarding gun violence on our streets. Each night over the past few weeks, we’ve gone to sleep mourning victims of shootings and praying that the violence doesn’t hit too close to home. But there is no escaping the impact of the violence, and words cannot describe the immeasurable toll these acts exact on families, neighborhoods, and our community at-large.
“Shootings are traumatic for those directly involved, as well as people living in the neighborhood of the incident. When the sounds of gunfire ring out the first thought we all have is the possibility that someone we love and care about may fall victim to a bullet. The inability to feel safe in your own home, or on your own block, makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to thrive. The risk of reality of the harm brought on by gun violence compels us to action.
“The most recent surge has disproportionately affected our young people. For over a year, our youth have been physically distanced from friends, family members, mentors, teachers, and others who all help contribute to the growth and maturation of young people.
“The surge in violence demands that we respond, immediately, as a community and that we work together to ensure our young people have the guidance they need to navigate this difficult time instead of resorting to violence or destructive behavior as solutions. The types of violence we’ve seen begs for mentorship and guidance that can have a huge impact on people’s lives. We shouldn’t write off any of our young people, they deserve someone to talk to and figure out how they navigate this difficult time in their lives – and figure out where they can go from here to create a fulfilling life in the future.
“Milwaukee County is prepared to step-up, build relationships, and connect with people on our neighborhood blocks. In the spirit of our strategic plan to achieve our vision of equity, we want to intentionally include those who may not feel like they belong to a community or that they have likeminded peers. We want to provide the space for those individuals, and their families, to connect with each other, build community, and step outside of their comfort zones contribute to the work that is needed to get the County on the right track.
“Tomorrow morning at Sherman Park, I’ll join other Milwaukee County officials in launching a new violence prevention program that creates the space for the necessary conversations that can save and change lives.
“It’s important that we do this not only for our youth, or during residents’ teenage years, but throughout their lives. No single idea or program will solve the problem of violence on our streets. We’re focused on pinpointing what other services we can get children and their families connected with so that they can have the best chance at success.
“I believe this approach can save lives, prevent the violence we’ve seen across the county this year, and make an impact in transforming communities. I ask the community to stay strong at this time and know that Milwaukee County not only recognizes the urgency of the problem, but we also recognize the need for an approach that meets people were they are and finds solutions specifically tailored to their needs.
“The time for action is always now, but it will take all of us working together to protect the lives of Milwaukee County residents, change the life trajectory for many of our young people, and move forward in our mission to create safe and healthy communities in every corner of the county.”