MILWAUKEE – More than $2 million will go towards improving security in Milwaukee’s entertainment district, Governor Tony Evers said announcement Monday.
Some of the money will go to security fencing, which officials can raise or lower remotely for crowds during weekends or major events.
“We don’t have any details yet on what that will look like,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “But that’s part of the thinking, especially given what happened last week on Friday, or rather two Fridays ago.”
That’s when 21 people were shot in the space of two hours on Water Street and MLK Drive.
Mayor Johnson said he doesn’t have a timeline for when the money or the fence will be available, but he thinks it will be soon.
“The fence would help us make the roadway or the vehicular traffic more secure, so there are a number of other things we’re looking at in parallel,” Mayor Johnson said. “That’s the area that it would help reduce is the problem of reckless driving and the access problem, especially in relation to the downtown entertainment district that we want to be safe.”
Pedro Jorge says he comes to MLK Drive often and says this idea is a good start.
“I think trying everything for safety is a good thing,” Jorge said. “It’s certainly better than doing nothing.”
State money will also go towards new technologies to investigate shootings. Some of that will help pay for Milwaukee Police overtime costs.
“It’s a challenge, we’re dealing with attrition, we have retirement issues, but we have an influx of officers coming in,” Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said. “We have an in-house course right now, and we’re also going to have a few other courses in the future. So help is coming, but yeah, it’s going to be a challenge this summer.”
The governor’s office says the money came from American Rescue Plan Act funds.
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