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Community Meeting in Milwaukee Focuses On Preventing Violence Through Accountability

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Ariel Dovas
/
Flickr

Milwaukee is in the midst of a violent spring. The number of murders is up significantly from this point a year ago, and non-fatal shootings have been front page news as children are hit by stray gunfire.

It's a problem that police and elected officials say they're working on addressing. But it's also an issue that has brought together people from a cross-section of the community. They've met at peace vigils, and at community gatherings, such as one held last Friday at the Hillside Family Resource Center focused on the city's violence epidemic.

That meeting brought together scores of people who all expressed thoughts about ways to rein in the violence. Pastor Andrew Calhoun from Grace Fellowship Church stressed the importance of reaching young adults.

"It's a challenge. A lot of people don't want to deal with this demographic of sixteen to twenty-four year olds, it's a tough group to deal with. But at the end of the day they are our children whether we like it or not...we live here, we work here, we play here. We have to own this thing," said Calhoun.

Retired Milwaukee Police Officer Gregory Moore, who is currently the Chief of Public Safety for the Milwaukee Housing Authority, also spoke in front of the group. He says even with three decades in law enforcement, this year is still hard to comprehend.

"This is probably one of the worst beginnings of early spring that I've seen...the theme here is that kids need to be talked to, need to be mentored. But our adult population need to start taking up responsibility for their own actions," Moore said.