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UPDATE: Red kettles return to locations after Salvation Army workers threatened

Updated: December 20, 2017

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- About 40 red kettles have returned to their locations after threats were made to three Salvation Army employees Tuesday afternoon by a former kettle worker. 

Major Steven Merritt, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, made the decision Wednesday morning. 

"We feel confident in the Milwaukee Police Department's investigation to find the known suspect," Merritt said. "We will do everything to support them."

All of the kettle workers scheduled to work at the sites were interviewed and no worker was sent out who did not want to go.

Campaign donations support more than 80 programs and services in Milwaukee County, including the Feed The Kids summer meals program, The Salvation Army Toy Shop, the backpack and school supplies program, Coats for Kids, Christmas Family Feast and our Emergency Lodge.

How You Can Help:

  • By Mail, send in a check: The Salvation Army 11315 W. Watertown Plank Road Wauwatosa, WI 53226
  • Text “Milwaukee” to 41444
  • Make the best gift you can in any kettle
  • Donate online at www.SAmilwaukee.org
  • Purchase a season pass pin

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Posted: 4:30 p.m. on December 19, 2017

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – After three Salvation Army employees were threatened Tuesday afternoon, the Salvation Army is closing a number of key kettle locations for the day.

The Salvation Army says an employee and a bell ringer were threatened at the Walgreens on 68th Street and Brown Deer Road. The same suspect also is said to have called The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County’s Citadel Corps and threatened the life of a Salvation Army officer there. The Salvation Army says no money was taken and the suspect is a former kettle worker that was being dismissed and is known to police.

The Salvation Army says for safety purposes they are closing some kettle locations Tuesday evening and that when the suspect is caught the surrounding kettles will be put out again. The Salvation Army says the kettles average about $5,000-$6,500 a day and it’s unknown what the loss of donations would be.

The Salvation Army says this is the last week bell ringers will be out and that this time of year is a crucial fundraising time. The Salvation Army says so far, their Red Kettle Campaign has brought in $2.2 million, which is $1.6 million behind the goal for 2017. While bell ringers will stop collecting donations on December 23, the Red Kettle Campaign will continue through the end of January 2018.

Campaign donations help support more than 80 programs and services in Milwaukee County.

Below are the ways the Salvation Army says you can help:

  • By Mail, send in a check:The Salvation Army11315 W. Watertown Plank RoadWauwatosa, WI 53226   
  • Text “Milwaukee” to 41444
  • Make the best gift you can in any kettle
  • Donate online at www.SAmilwaukee.org
  • Purchase a season pass pin
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