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Milwaukee Police Chief addresses safety concerns after recent survey

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A survey last month found people on Milwaukee’s north side don’t feel safe in their community.

Police Chief Alfonso Morales addressed some of their concerns at a town hall meeting Thursday night.

“If I’m not the one out there, at least at the beginning to show everybody that it is important for us to engage with the community, we’re not really going to get it,” Morales said. “It’s coming from the top down.”

Neighbors brought up issues like the police department’s budget.

“I wanted to understand if he saw the crisis in the same way,” said Michelle Bryant, who lives in District 7. “One of the things that I appreciated is he talked about redistributing officers, working with what he had to figure out how to address the need.”

Morales called the budget a ‘challenge,’ not a ‘crisis.’

He explained part of the problem is filling vacancies created by a wave of retirements.

He says it’s one of his many priorities.

“Get our staff, all the way down to the front line, the resources they need and get the community engaged,” Morales said. “I’m really going to be pushing for community-oriented policing.”

Morales also discussed the fact that car thefts are up this year so far in several districts across the city.

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