By Mary Spicuzza- Milwaukee Journal Sentinal -October 8th
With the number of homicides in Milwaukee climbing to the highest level in a decade, Mayor Tom Barrett is joining with other mayors to call for more help from the federal government.
Barrett and others want the FBI to notify local authorities immediately when someone trying to purchase a gun fails a background check. They also want local police departments to be able supplement their personnel with federal agents on key cases, and want U.S. attorneys to partner with local prosecutors when suspects can be charged with federal crimes — especially if those offenses involve illegal gun possession and trafficking.
Barrett was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday meeting with federal officials as well as mayors and police chiefs from other cities that are also experiencing a spike in homicides.
“It’s not as though any of us came with any animosity toward the federal government,” he said. “It just was we need some help here.”
Some members of the public who spoke at the hearing criticized plans for a streetcar, however, calling it a waste of taxpayer money. Barrett acknowledged that there has been controversy around it, but added that some people are simply opposed to “fixed transit.”
He again defended the plan, saying that with an essentially “unprecedented level of development downtown, it makes sense to connect” the growing number of destinations.
With all due respect Mayor Barrett the only thing growing in the city of Milwaukee is despair.