Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention has joined forces with the Health Department, Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and many nonprofit and youth service organizations in hopes of achieving one goal this summer: no youth homicides. The coalition recognizes “it takes a village” and calls on residents to proactively join them in fostering city youth over summer vacation.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, over 100 representatives from these agencies met in May to discuss how to best keep children busy and safe this summer. The initiative is a critical part of the city’s larger “Blueprint for Peace” initiative, a campaign to reduce violence through active resident involvement and community support.
The Blueprint for Peace is “organized around six goals: stop the shooting; promote healing and restorative justice; support children, youth and families; promote economic opportunity; foster safe and strong neighborhoods; and strengthen the coordination of violence prevention efforts.”
Local business owners appear to be missing from this coalition, most notably apartment complex owners. It is critical property owners take a stand in fighting community violence by providing safe and secure premises to patrons, particularly the youngest members of the community. Milwaukee apartment complex owners have a unique opportunity to “foster safe and strong neighborhoods” by taking a proactive approach to safety and security measures on their property. Families have a right to feel safe in their own homes. Children shouldn’t have to grow up under the threat of gunfire, believing that is a normal and unavoidable occurrence.
Unfortunately, apartment complex owners are all too often more concerned with limiting their financial exposure than providing families with a safe space to raise their children. It is time apartment complex owners take a proactive approach to local violence and join the city’s Blueprint for Peace. Apartment owners and managers should liaise with law enforcement to reduce crime and protect their youngest residents. Security measures may include: gated-entry, fencing, bright lighting, security patrols, surveillance cameras, emergency call boxes, signage, and off-duty police patrols.
Victims of Milwaukee Apartment Violence: Know Your Rights
Families should not be afraid in their own homes. While community leaders and law enforcement work to end violence in Milwaukee neighborhoods, local apartment owners must do their part to deter crime and protect residents. Families have a right to be safe and secure in their own homes. By law, apartment owners and management companies have a duty to protect residents from any foreseeable harm. For example, should an apartment owner have knowledge of prior violence and criminal activity in the surrounding area, they must take reasonable steps to protect residents and deter future crime. Should a property owner fail in this critical duty, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries, sexual assaults or deaths which occur as a consequence.