On Saturday, July 23, Marquette University hosted the Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, and the Community Collaborative Commission for a “Reimagining Public Safety” community gathering session at the Law School. This was the first of 15 sessions – one in each aldermanic district in Milwaukee.
MPD is developing a community policing plan, and over the past year, the department and a few other systems partners recognized the need to collaborate and gather input from the community to reimagine a citywide safety plan that is authentic and impactful. The result of the sessions will be the creation of a Community Oriented Policing Plan that will be put into action by MPD. A Standard Operating Procedure already in place provides community oriented policing guidance and this SOP was a result of the collaborative efforts between the CCC and MPD.
“We as the police need to know what the community needs from us to feel safe. Additionally, we want to learn how we can better collaborate with the community to make that happen, evaluating our practices to make sure they are in the best interests of the community we serve,” said MPD Assistant Chief Nicole Waldner.
Members from the Marquette University Police Department and Near West Side Partners participated in the collective group work and breakout session alongside nearly 100 other residents within Ald. District 4.
The discussion focused first on what people feel are the characteristics of a safe community and then potential solutions that would help bring or reinforce those characteristics within the aldermanic neighborhood.
“Community members were especially interested in how we collaborate with mental health providers,” said Waldner. “This showed how important it was to have more engagement sessions where we can exchange information and provide more transparency. That’s what builds trust.”
MPD, Near West Side Partners and other city stakeholders were involved in the university’s Safety Task Force, especially focused on community collaboration to increase neighborhood safety measures.