Violence Prevention, Crime Update, Focus of HWTN Oct. 5 Meeting

City efforts to prevent violence, and an update from police on crime in our area will be the main topics for Historic Water Tower Neighborhood’s monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 5, 2016.

Reggie Moore, director of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention, will be our keynote speaker. Appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett in April 2016, Reggie leads the city’s efforts to assess, prevent, and decrease incidents of structural and community violence. The office takes a public health approach to violence by measuring what works, scaling effective practice and preventing the transmission of violence by addressing root causes.

Reggie Moore

Reggie Moore

Milwaukee Police Officer Thomas Kline will also give a brief update on crime incidents in our area.

The presentations will be followed by our monthly board meeting at 8:15 p.m.

Members and the general public are invited to attend the meeting, which takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room of Lake Park Pavilion, beneath Lake Park Bistro. Attendees are welcome to arrive starting at 6:45 p.m. to socialize and for coffee and cookies courtesy of Lake Park Bistro.

According to Reggie’s biography:

Reggie Moore serves as Director of the Office of Violence Prevention located within the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department. Appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett in April 2016, Reggie leads the city’s efforts to assess, prevent, and decrease incidents of structural and community violence. In addition to the Homicide Review Commission, the Office of Violence Prevention supports efforts to address domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, suicide, and gun violence prevention. The office takes a public health approach to violence by measuring what works, scaling effective practice and preventing the transmission of violence by addressing root causes.

Prior to joining the Milwaukee Health Department, Reggie served as the founding CEO of the Center for Youth Engagement (CYE). The Center serves as a catalyst for building and sustaining strategies to connect young people with quality opportunities to learn, lead, and develop. Its flagship initiative, Beyond the Bell is successfully improving the quality and coordination of youth serving agencies throughout Milwaukee. Prior to launching the Center for Youth Engagement in 2011,

Reggie served as Founding Executive Director of Urban Underground, a nationally recognized program that builds youth leadership through grassroots community organizing and civic engagement. He has also worked as national Director of Youth Activism for the American Legacy Foundation in Washington, DC and volunteers his time with several local and national organizations including the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation and National Youth Alliance for Boys and Men of Color.

He is a proud father and Milwaukee native. Reggie has dedicated his life to being a servant leader and catalyst for social change.

Police Share Crime Prevention Tips, Update on Carjackings

At the invitation of our alderman, Nik Kovac, Milwaukee Police Department Asst. Chief Jim Harpole discussed various crime issues affecting the City of Milwaukee and Police District One with more than 100 people who attended the Historic Water Tower Neighborhood monthly meeting March 2, 2016.

We learned from Harpole that carjackings citywide have dropped 67% since the implementation of the 90-day task force. Harpole suggested that the drop could be due, in part, to “word spreading” among would-be offenders that the gun court and the juvenile justice system are taking this crime seriously and issuing harsh penalties.

Asst. Police Chief Jim Harpole

Asst. Police Chief Jim Harpole

Carjacking, according to Harpole, is being examined at the “highest levels” of city government. While it is a citywide issue, the MPD has determined that the prevailing trend is that the carjackers committing crimes in District One are likely coming from District Three. Therefore, police resources are being directed to District Three to stem the flow of carjacking to our neighborhoods.

Interestingly, Harpole also described new technology called STAR Chase Pursuit Management Technology that is being used to track carjackers. This system allows police to launch a GPS device from their vehicle that sticks to the criminal’s car and thus allows police to track the carjackers without the need for dangerous high speed pursuits. However, a significant drawback is that the GPS device has problems adhering to cars in cold weather. With respect to high speed chases, AC Harpole reiterated the MPD’s current pursuit policy, explaining there is no pursuit except in the situation of violent crimes such as armed carjackings, but that even when pursuit is justified the officers are required to exercise due regard for public safety.

An issue frustrating many residents is the question of how to get timely and accurate information regarding crime in their neighborhoods. Harpole acknowledged that the MAP system, which was purchased in 2005, is now outdated. He thanked Alderman Kovac, who, in his role as the chairman of the Common Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee, has been instrumental in allocating funds for the purchase of a customized records management system for the MPD that will eventually allow for the implementation of a public platform for disseminating realtime crime information to neighborhoods. The use of the crime notifications from “Spotcrime” was discussed at the meeting. Harpole as well as residents and Officer Jose Alba pointed out the limitations of Spotcrime. For one, Spotcrime is not actual crime reports. Rather, it is a call log and can be misleading because many of the calls do not actually involve crimes, much less crimes in our area. Harpole encouraged residents to continue using the Nextdoor website and app (and sign up for the “Historic Water Tower” neighborhood to receive applicable updates), which is where Officer Jose Alba has been providing timely, detailed, and reliable reports of any significant crimes in our police district.

IMG_0514The question of police staffing was briefly discussed at the meeting. Harpole and Kovac explained that MPD has a robust police force and that Kovac, as chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee, has successfully managed to assist in preserving the size of the force in the face of budgetary pressures while other major cities in the U.S. have drastically reduced their police forces. Kovac explained that given budgetary restraints, over the past decade the percentage of city employees has been reduced by 10%, whereas the police force has seen a relatively minor decrease hovering around 3%. Currently, there are about 1,900 working officers, and 1,000 of those are patrol officers. Harpole commented that this is a “very big force” relative to the size of the city and the police forces of other major cities in the U.S.

Following the extensive question-and-answer session with Harpole, Officer Jose Alba along with 1st District Capt. Eric Moore offered home security tips for residents.

These included:

  • Using landscaping as a deterrent (e.g. thorny bushes under windows but not too high as to provide a hiding spot for thieves);
  • Avoid leaving notes on doors for delivery persons;
  • Get security company signs for your yard (even fake ones are a deterrent);
  • Get a “beware of dog” sign, as thieves don’t like dogs, even little ones that can alert homeowners with their barking;
  • While on vacation: stop your mail, notify the district police for extra patrols, do not post vacation photos on Facebook during the vacation, and do not put your home address on luggage tags because baggage handlers can be networked with criminals who will then target your home;
  • Leave a radio or television on when you’re not home in the day. Officer Alba also recommended a device called Fake TV that mimics the flickering light of television and can be set on a timer when you’re away from home;
  • Call for a Target Hardening Assessment from a District One officer if you feel you need help assessing your home’s security;
  • Use motion detector lights;
  • Reinforce flimsy doors to garages.
Officer Jose Alba

Officer Jose Alba

Officer Alba also handed out brochures that addressed basic home security suggestions. HWTN will continue to provide these brochures and other security handouts at future meetings. When we asked about the number of burglaries throughout District One since the beginning of 2016, we were told there had been 49. Most of those burglaries involved UWM student housing and that number also includes reports of items stolen from garages.



– Laura Shipley, Chairman, Historic Water Tower Neighborhood Initiative for Public Safety Committee

Police to Give Tips on Crime Prevention March 2

Milwaukee Police Department Community Liaison Officer Jose Alba will give residents important tips on how to keep their homes from being broken into and other crime prevention advice at Historic Water Tower Neighborhood’s next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday March 2.

CCpwOehXIAA462JAlba was invited to speak to residents because of concerns about an increase in crime in the neighborhood, including a wave of carjackings.

Officer Alba’s talk follows a presentation earlier in February to the group by District Attorney John Chisholm and from Police District 1 Capt. Eric Moore in January.

Alba is expected to recommend ways to improve home security and and prevent crimes, including home burglaries and crimes involving automobiles. Other topics Alba has been asked to address include ways to situate home security cameras toward streets to deter carjacking, gathering usable video evidence for the investigation of carjackings, ways to set up cell phone devices for tracking stolen phones/computers and how to make automobiles easy to track in cases of car theft.

The talk will be part of HWTN’s monthly business meeting. The meeting is free and open to the public. It takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room of the Lake Park Pavilion, under Lake Park Bistro. Cookies and coffee, courtesy of Lake Park Bistro, will be available starting at 6:45 p.m.

Police Discuss Carjackings With 90 Residents At HWTN Meeting

Milwaukee Police Capt. Eric Moore, head of the department’s First District, gave details on the recent East Side carjacking spree to about 90 people attending Historic Water Tower Neighborhood’s monthly meeting Wednesday Jan. 6, 2015.

image1Moore and several community liaison officers who also attended the HWTN meeting spoke and took questions from residents for 90 minutes about the crimes, police actions and what residents can do to improve their safety.

Moore detailed a carjacking on N. Farwell on Monday morning (see police email below). He also noted that one suspect, 16, had been living in a home for juvenile offenders on the 2500 block N. Murray Ave. after spending time at Lincoln Hills Schools for Boys. Another of the carjackers was a young woman, 17, he said. One of the assailants was arrested for a carjacking later this week in Fond du Lac.

Residents raised many issues, including fears about safety, concerns about recidivism and the desire for a continuation of increased police presence after a 90-day task force in the area expires Feb. 29.

Advice and comments from police a block watch captain from the Sherman Park neighborhood who also spoke and Ald. Nik Kovac included:

  • Police cannot keep a permanent enhanced presence due to crimes in other parts of the city, but they will respond as necessary to spikes in crime.
  • Residents should trust their instincts when sensing danger and act accordingly. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if possibly in danger.
  • Carjackers who have been arrested have told police that their ideal victims are women, older men and people distracted on their phones.
  • Residents should get to know their neighbors and be able to contact them about suspicious activity or crimes.
  • Police and Ald. Nik Kovac, who also spoke at the meeting, said crime info will be made available via HWTN’s Facebook page,, and’s “Historic Water Tower” group,
  • At a member’s request, MPD agreed to provide HWTN with “Block Watch” signs that can be placed in home windows.

During the meeting, some residents:

  • Asked about police tactics and strategies to deal with carjackings and other crimes, and some felt they didn’t get a sufficient answer.
  • Suggested hiring private security, paid for by neighbors.
  • Raised concerns that the criminal justice system was too lenient on offenders and wanted to follow defendants through the process.
  • Wanted to see offenders mentored.
  • Asked about whether residents should carry concealed weapons.

HWTN plans to meet with Moore and other officers in the near future to continue to improve police notifications to residents and to set up a regular monthly briefing between the police and an HWTN committee about crime trends and issues.

From: Moore, Eric

Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2016 11:04 PM

To: Kovac, Nik

Cc: Cervantes, Amanda

Subject: Farwell Avenue Carjacking Investigation

Good Evening Alderman,

Below is per your request.

On Monday, January 4, 2016, at approximately 6:20AM, in the 2900 block of N. Farwell Avenue, a 56 year-old Franklin (WI) woman parked her Toyota SUV in front of her son’s residence.  As she was sitting in her vehicle, she observed a dark auto drive past her several times (in a northerly direction on N. Farwell Avenue).  At one point, the dark auto made a U-turn and pulled behind the victim’s auto.  Two of the three occupants in the suspect vehicle (dark auto) exited their vehicle and (they) approached the victim’s auto on the passenger side.  The main actor pointed a firearm at the victim and demanded that she “get out of the car”.  The victim complied and the two actors jumped into her vehicle and drove off.  Those two actors were followed by the third actor who was driving the suspect vehicle (dark auto).  The victim was not physically harmed.

Later Monday, at approximately 1:30PM, three occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV, approached a 40 Year-old Wauwatosa woman in the parking lot of the Walmart store located at 4140 W. Greenfield Avenue, West Milwaukee.  Two of the actors, one of which was armed with a handgun, approached the victim and attempted to take her Mercedes Benz automobile.  The actors were unsuccessful in their attempt and they fled the parking lot in the Toyota SUV without obtaining anything from the intended victim who was not physically harmed.

Shortly after 1:40PM, three occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV approached a 55 year-old Oak Creek man in the parking lot of the HOBO home improvement store located at 3545 S. 27th Street, Milwaukee.  Two of actors, while armed with handguns, approached the man and demanded his wallet, money, and 4-door Lincoln automobile.  The victim complied and the two armed actors got into his auto and drove off.  The stolen Toyota SUV followed the Lincoln off of the HOBO parking lot.  The victim was not physically harmed.

At approximately 3:45PM, four occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV pulled alongside a Honda vehicle that was being driven by a 25 year-old South Milwaukee woman in the 2500 block of W. Maple Street, Milwaukee.  The Toyota SUV suddenly veered in front of the Honda cutting it off.  Two actors exited the Toyota and approached the woman (victim) as she sat in her Honda.  One of the actors was armed with a handgun and he ordered the victim out of her vehicle.  The victim complied and the two actors got into her vehicle and drove off.  The other two actors then followed in the stolen Toyota SUV.  The victim was not physically harmed.

At approximately 3:55PM (ten minutes after the Honda offense), two occupants (actors) riding in the Farwell victim’s stolen Toyota SUV passed a Chrysler vehicle that was being driven by a 45 year-old Milwaukee woman in the 2300 block of W. Maple Street, Milwaukee.  The Toyota SUV suddenly stopped in the roadway, causing the Chrysler to also stop behind it.  One of the two actors in the Toyota SUV exited the vehicle and approached the Chrysler.  That actor pointed a handgun at the victim and ordered her to get out of her car and hand over her purse.  The victim complied.  The armed actor got into the victim’s vehicle and drove off.  The other actor then followed in the stolen Toyota SUV.  The victim was not physically harmed.

At approximately 11:40PM, Milwaukee Police Officers observed the Farwell Avenue victim’s stolen Toyota SUV and the above-mentioned stolen Chrysler on a near-south side residential street.  A foot chase and a vehicular pursuit ensued, and two actors were immediately taken into custody.  These actors are ages 19 and 17.  On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 5th, a third actor (age 18) was taken into custody, and the Milwaukee Police Department is currently seeking several other identified actors who are believed to have participated to some degree in this crime spree.

It is important to note that, one of the main actors in these offenses is in custody and has admitted involvement in all of the afore-mentioned criminal offenses.  At the time of the offenses (yesterday), this main actor was an absconder from a youth home that is located in the area where the Toyota SUV was taken.  This actor was recently released from a Wisconsin Correctional Facility following a period of confinement that resulted from a Robbery Adjudication.

The MPD and West Milwaukee PD investigations are continuing.

Captain EJM

D.A. John Chisholm Addresses East Side Crime Issues at HWTN Monthly Meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 3, 2016

In light of recent crimes including a wave of carjackings on the East Side, Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm has been invited to speak at Historic Water Tower Neighborhood’s next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 3, 2016.


Chisholm will also take questions from residents.

The meeting takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room of Lake Park Pavilion, beneath the Lake Park Bistro. Complimentary cookies and coffee courtesy of Lake Park Bistro will be available starting at 6:45 p.m..

The meeting is free and open to the public. HWTN’s regular board meeting will take place after Chisholm’s appearance.

Police District #1 Capt. Eric Moore and several officers spoke to a packed room last month about an uptick in carjackings and other crimes in the area.

For the Feb. 3 meeting, Chisholm has been asked to:

  • Explain the Milwaukee Gun Violence Reduction Initiative
  • Discuss current problems with the overwhelmed gun court and addition of new gun court and two prosecutors, include expected impact on the speed of gun crime adjudications and the purpose of gun courts as a gun crime deterrent
  • Outline progress on other parts of the initiative (e.g. improved monitoring of people on parole and probation, GPS monitoring of offenders, apprehension strategy for carjackings)
  • Address a residents’ proposal to hire private security and what legal consequences might need to be considered
  • Set forth his strategy for dealing with increasing crime in the neighborhood and any ideas as to how we can contribute to ensuring safety in our community and the successful prosecution of violent gun crimes

Also coming up at the meeting will be a discussion on concerns over large WE Energies electric poles being installed on residential streets. Details on that issue, the full meeting agenda and minutes and summaries from the last two HWTN meetings are available here.

According to Chisholm’s biography:

John T. Chisholm is the District Attorney of Milwaukee County. His office handles criminal cases for the State of Wisconsin in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

As District Attorney, John organizes his office to work closely with neighborhoods through his nationally recognized Community Prosecution program. He designed a Child Protection Advocacy Unit to better serve child victims, formed a Public Integrity Unit to focus on public corruption matters and a Witness Protection Unit to thwart attempts to intimidate victims and witnesses of crime. Specialized units focus on violent firearm and sexual assault offenders. He helped start the drug treatment court and participated in Milwaukee County’s selection as a seed site for the National Institute of Corrections’ Evidence Based Decision Making framework.

John is an Army Veteran and worked with the Veterans’ Administration and collaborative partners to establish resources for veterans who encounter the criminal justice system in Milwaukee County, resulting in the opening of the Veterans Treatment Initiative and Treatment Court.

John is past chair of the Milwaukee County Community Justice Council and past chair of the Washington DC based Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He sits on numerous boards including the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission, Safe & Sound, and the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area board.

John is a graduate of Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Here is information on the District Attorney’s office from its website:

The District Attorney of Milwaukee County is assisted directly by five deputy district attorneys. In addition, the legal staff is composed of approximately 125 assistant district attorneys, all of whom represent the State of Wisconsin in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, generally in connection with criminal cases. Within the office, there are a number of specialized units for offenses involving homicides, drug violations, sexual assaults, white collar crimes, domestic violence, and consumer fraud. There are also units which prosecute felonies, misdemeanors, and offenses involving juveniles.

Mission Statement: The mission of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office is to promote public peace and safety by just and vigorous prosecution; to seek and to do impartial justice by ensuring that the guilty are punished and the innocent go free; to protect the health and welfare of children who are victims of child abuse and neglect; and to safeguard the rule of law and to promote citizens’ participation in law enforcement by treating all persons who come in contact with the criminal justice system with fairness, dignity, and respect.