US Marshals, Milwaukee leaders discuss collaboration efforts to lower violent crime

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The head of the U.S. Marshals Service visited Milwaukee Wednesday, Jan. 25 to meet with area leaders and discuss ways to reduce violent crime in the city.

Milwaukee has seen a 15% reduction in overall violent crime in 2022, according to data from the Milwaukee Police Department. But the city also broke its own homicide record last year as it did in 2021 and 2020.

"The purpose of the visit was not to tell you what I can do but to find out what you guys are doing and what role we can play," U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald Davis said during the roundtable discussion at the federal courthouse.

Local Milwaukee leaders shared their thoughts with the director.

"Public safety is the number one issue when I talk to my constituents," Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa said.

"There is a sense of needing intervention, law enforcement intervention, and a feeling that that is justice because otherwise they're going to get street justice themselves," said Office of Violence Prevention Director Ashanti Hamilton.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm identified the Marshals' Fugitive Safe Surrender Program as one way to collaborate locally to lower the number of wanted people on the streets.

"Some of those we would like to bring back into the system and get that accountability but the U.S. Marshals have actually led efforts to do that in a safe and a community-oriented way," Chisholm said.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the marshals can be a valuable partner for community members concerned about violent crime.

"Give another tool for them to reach out to a law enforcement agency to extract folks that are known in the neighborhoods that cause death, harm and destruction," Johnson told reporters after the roundtable.

"I'm here as the director of the agency to identify if there are additional resources that are needed," Davis said. "And that basically we are working as a community together to identify the best practices the best lessons learned so that we can share with other jurisdictions."

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