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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

August 2016 the Most Violent Month in Milwaukee Since Dahmer Victims Found

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There were 24 homicides in Milwaukee during August. According to Police Chief Edward Flynn, the monthly total was the highest in a quarter century - in fact, the most in a month’s time since serial killer Jeffery Dahmer’s victims were counted.

Flynn says he does not want to minimize the recent police killing of a young black man or the riots that followed, yet in the few hours beforehand five people were murdered.

“The overwhelming problem facing this city is violent crime, and it is violent crime – homicidal violent crime that is most significantly afflicting our disadvantaged neighborhoods of color,” Flynn says.

Flynn says residents have helped the MPD solve homicides, but there has been a reluctance when suspects involved in shootings survive.

“Because those offenders who are armed and dangerous and survive have a very much serious interest in intimidating those who would truthfully testify to the circumstances,” Flynn says.

The Chief says police and community members face a daunting challenge.

“I would urge many of those who are most vocal in their criticisms of the police department to lend some of their energy and some of their concern to the extraordinary rates of violent crime that are afflicting us, the extraordinary easy availability of high quality of firearms for the perpetrators of those crimes,” Flynn says.

Flynn reports that during August Milwaukee police confiscated 211 guns from criminal suspects. He describes Milwaukee has having a firearm rich environment.

RELATED STORY: "Of the known suspects in the 2015 gun homicides in Milwaukee, 69 percent — or 66 suspects — were legally prohibited from possessing a firearm at the time of the crime."

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