Thursday, December 10, 2009

MPD Awards Block Watch Captains And South Side Businesses For Crime Reduction

Chief Flynn credits neighborhood Block Watch programs, residents, local businesses, and police officers in both Districts 2 and 6 for a 12% reduction of crime in the South side

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 10, 2009

Milwaukee -On Wednesday, the City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) hosted a "Block Watch Award Ceremony" and reception for both Police Districts 2 and 6. The awards ceremony was held at Aurora Medical Center, Stiemke Auditorium, 2900 W. Oklahoma Ave. where food, and special recognition awards were given to neighborhood Block Watch captains and local businesses. Auxiliary officers were also recognized by Dist. 6 Captain Michael D. Young and Dist. 2 Captain Donald J. Gaglione.
There was a minute of silence in recognition and remembrance for the four fallen Lakewood Police Department Officers in Washington, Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards.
More than 150 people filled Stiemke Auditorium for the event. Both Mayor Tom Barrett and MPD Chief Edward A. Flynn gave a personal thank you and appreciation to all the Block Watch captains, and businesses. "People like yourself sharing information with officers, by reporting crimes and suspicious activity has helped us prevent crime, so that we can continue to make our neighborhoods safe. Thank you for your support," Chief Flynn said. Flynn also thanked the women and men in blue for working in a united and collaborating effort with neighborhood residents and businesses resulting in a 12% reduction of crime in the near South side.
Both Mayor Barrett and Chief Flynn had prior commitments and couldn't be present at the awards ceremony, but had their video address played to residents.
"The awards tonight are for community involvement and we are also grateful to Auxiliary officers for taking their time to volunteer with MPD," Captain Michael D. Young said. 

Afterwards, Captain Gaglione said, "Thank you, we are here tonight to recognize you for the great job and for taking time to become Block Watch captains who gave us information on crimes around the area. Your help and information has made it easier for our police department of 1,800 officers to close down drug houses and respond to crimes otherwise without your help wouldn't have been solved. Especially, information we received about the suspects robbing numerous businesses along S. 27 St., it was your information that helped us catch them."
Community Liaison Officers from District 2, Jose Arzaga and Jesus Gloria, along with Community Liaison Officers from District 6, Carlos Felix and Cheryl Wolf were recognized for creating and organizing Block Watch units in their districts and getting businesses involved too.
Many of the citizens that were recognized brought their family and children to the special occasion. Block Watch captains received an "Appreciation Award for their dedication and efforts on keeping our neighborhoods safe through the Milwaukee Police Department Block Watch Program 2009." The ceremony provided the children a memorable and a positive example of their parents getting a recognition award for helping police reduce crime and making their neighborhood a safe place to work and live.
In early December, District 2 officers were credited by Capt. Gaglione for recovering over 1,200 items believed stolen in jewelry worth more than $75,000 from four South side Jewelry stores. A two month police sting operation discovered the following South side stores, Star Jewelry, Gold N Cash Jewelry, Reflections Jewelry, and John's Jewelry were buying gold jewelry as scrap and weren't asking for proper identification and not  keeping records of who sold each item as state law and local ordinances require. The stores involved received 85 citations totaling over $41,000.

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