Sunday Sound-off: Do you feel safe in Brew City?
Welcome to the new and improved OnMilwaukee.com Sunday Sound-off, now featuring a question, two different perspectives -- then opening up the topic to our readers' responses. Please use the Talkback feature below to contribute your thoughts on the issue.
Safety is a big issue in Milwaukee, but we're not alone. It seems as if "feeling safe" despite crime and violence is a challenge for people living just about anywhere these days, from the smallest to the largest cities. Perhaps it's simply a part of the modern human condition.
But do you feel safe, specifically, in Milwaukee? Are you uneasy walking around at night, during the day, and even inside your own home - or do you usually feel confident? We want to hear you thoughts and opinions on the safety issue in our city.
Yes, I feel safe. You have to be careful no matter where you are -- I don't feel any more or less safe in Milwaukee than I would anywhere else. I think the media tends to focus on the negative aspects of the city, showing the conflict but rarely airing the resolve. This makes us perceive that things are worse than they really are, because we don't hear about the "good stuff" that's happening in this city.
No, I do not feel safe. Crime and violence are a real problem in Milwaukee, and it affects my psyche. I think the Milwaukee police, politicians, activists and Milwaukeeans in general need to do more to address the issues. The crime in Milwaukee is getting worse, and I feel less and less safe.
I don't understand why anyone who lives here should settle for any murders at all. I realize a zero murder rate would be a miracle, but to look at over 120 murders and say "it's not that bad" is silly. People who commit these crimes obviously feel they have nothing to lose. The ones that know who these people are should get over this stupid "no snitching" nonsense before lots more people get killed. The "collateral damage" that comes from gangs shooting at each other is heinous. Especially when it involves little kids getting shot. Safety in Milwaukee? With the exception of one specific area, it's all dependent upon the flavor-of-the-day community. For a while it's the east side, then it's Bay View, then it's Tosa, then it's the east side again, etc. ...what's scary lately is that these crooks are almost organized about it.
People need to research the facts, or stats, before they can proclaim Milwaukee to be either "really safe" or "crime ridden". Most of what is posted are personal anecdotes. The fact is, unfortunately, that Milwaukee has a quite high violent crime rate. particularily murder, when compared to most American cities. Fortunately it is a long way from being the worst. In 2005, Seattle had 25 murders, Portland had 20, while Mke had 121. Yes, that's 6 times Portland's rate! Baltimore had 269 murders in '05, so it could be much worse. The idea that Milwaukee is relatively safe compared to other American cities is wishful thinking, if you take into consideration the city as a whole, and not just the relatively safe downtown and East Side (both of which I visit frequently without apprehension). The article that appeared in the Sunday Journal was based on someone's sentiments and opinion, not fact. The idea that crime happens whenever there are high concentrations of people is just wrong. Tokyo is probably as safe as most small towns in America, and it has in excess of 20 million residents in the metro area. Canadian cities with far higher population densities are much safer. Violent crime is high in general in the U.S., and higher than normal in cities like Milwaukee (although it's worse in Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, etc...) Basically, the problem is not somehow unique to Mke, it is a national problem and embarassment. Having said this, the idea that someone refuses to ever step foot in any part of Milwaukee as if they will be instantly victimized is equally as ridiculous as those believing the very real problems are just a bunch of journalistic hype. I'm writing this after hearing of the 4 year old girl, an innocent bystander, shot in the head during a drive-by, which was one of 2 murders today (seven seperate shootings).
Safe: by and large, yes. Comfortable: no. Riverwest is anathema to me, and I dread walking from North Ave. south to Brady St. I have the luxury of being a tall, fit man. . .if I didn't, I would steer clear. To feel truly comfortable during a long walk at night, I start at Bayshore and head north.
I do not feel safe anymore in Milwaukee - for good reasons. In the last four months I had a man come into my office on Prospect Ave and take my wallet out of my purse when I got up to get a drink of water. Also, I was attacked by a man with a knife for my purse on the corner of Marshall and Pleasant. Thank goodness I called my friend to tell him I arrived and that he should come downstairs to get me. He heard my screams and stopped the guy before I was seriously hurt. It isn't like I am not being smart about where I go and what I do. I moved here from Chicago and felt much safer there. Milwaukee is my home town so this is very sad for me. I am looking for jobs in other cities.
"Ban handguns, put more police on the street, and make birth control mandatory for felons and people on public assistance. It won't help next week but it will save the next generation. " These are laws the government would have to do and unfortunately laws wont help this situation. The community has to get together to change things; leave the government out of it; we dont NEED anymore things given to us or restricted from us. We need to wake up and smell the coffee and do things for ourselves. I think we are a bit too old for a baby sitter, lets start acting like it.
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