Traffic Enforcement Up, Crime Down in Milwaukee

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn links an increase in enforcement of dangerous driver behavior offenses to a drop in shootings. Flynn announced the results of a focus on 50 sites where a high volume of crashes correlated with a high violent crime rate.

A 29 percent decrease in Milwaukee non-fatal shootings is part of a significant decrease in crime since a surge in traffic enforcement, says Police Chief Edward Flynn, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The stepped-up enforcement for dangerous driver behavior, such as speeding, driving recklessly and running red lights, was announced in October after a surge in fatal crashes involving stolen vehicles. The Data Driven Anti-Crime and Traffic Safety Initiative focused on 50 locations in the city where a high volume of traffic crashes correlated with a high volume of violent crime. The deployments focused on crash reduction through the issuance of citations.

“It certainly appears to us this initiative, based on careful crime analysis as well as crash analysis, has produced a favorable outcome,” Flynn said. “It will lead us to examine this initiative with a view toward increasing it in new year.” Citywide there has been a 25 percent decrease in vehicle theft, a 9 percent drop in robberies and a 6 percent decrease in crashes. In the special deployment areas, traffic stops increased 56 percent, traffic stops resulting in citations increased 111 percent and crashes decreased 12 percent.
The deployment areas saw a 21 percent decrease in vehicle theft, a 13 percent decrease in robberies and a 12 percent decrease in crashes. Mayor Tom Barrett, who joined Flynn at a news conference, said reckless driving, speeding and running red lights are the concerns he hears about most often from city residents about driving in Milwaukee.