Posts tagged “Rahm Emanual

Milwaukee’s 2013 Per Capita Murder Rate Higher than Chicago’s

In an August 12 post, I lamented that the resurgence of shootings and homicides in Milwaukee this summer is due, in part, the city’s policing strategy.  And, quite frankly, since that post over two weeks ago, things have actually gotten worse—more shootings, a couple more homicides, and an officer getting accosted and sent to the hospital by an emboldened thug element.

A review of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Web site this morning reports the following: a 43-year-old member of the Milwaukee Police Department’s (MPD) Tactical Enforcement Unit is attacked by two men, ages 18 and 24, who sent the officer to the hospital after a foot pursuit.  At 6:30 PM, three juvenile boys were shot near S. 26 Street  and W. Lapham Ave. after a basketball game gone awry. Another article reports than homicides in Milwaukee are up 19 percent in 2013 during the same period from a year ago.

You know things in Milwaukee are going from bad to worse when the beer city’s per capita homicide rate surpasses Chicago’s, where a bloody summer has stained the office of its new mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Here are the numbers:

City                                 Population                           2013 Homicides               Per Capita Homicides

Chicago   2,707,000            270 One in 10,828 residents murdered.
Milwaukee     597,867              67 One in 8,923 residents murdered.


The officers on the street, as well as the brazen criminal element, are taking notice that the MPD’s crime fighting strategy is similar to President Obama’s redline remarks about Syria: like Obama, Chief Flynn’s bark is much worse than his bite.

“A Tac squad cop gets the s**t kicked out of him on 28 and Auer,” after two suspects who ran from the officer, turned and attacked, notes an officer deprecating the lack of adequate on scene back-up.   “Flynn and his policies are going to get a cop killed.”

Holding another roll call on the street won’t solve the problem of inadequate, on-scene officer back-up and drug dealers feeling empowered by the lack of a long term, area specific policing strategy.


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013

Cities Looking to Milwaukee for Answers Need to Check the Right Places

As far as criminology is concerned, we live in interesting times.  While cities like New York and Milwaukee are experiencing significant decreases in crime, political leaders in Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans are searching for answers.

In Chicago, the 2011 homicide clearance rate was just 30 percent.[1] In some police districts on the Windy City’s south and west sides, the crime rate has skyrocketed to the point where Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked for and is receiving assistance from federal law enforcement agencies.[2]

While the population of New Orleans is about half that of Milwaukee’s its homicide rate is more than double that of the brew city’s.[3] Yet New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu—a member of a family long associated with the Louisiana’s Democrat Party machine—is making a mistake by looking to Milwaukee’s Homicide Review Commission for answers. In about an hour, a solid Milwaukee street cop could reach the same conclusions as this commission and save taxpayers $500,000. Instead, Mayor Landrieu should take an in-depth look at the Milwaukee Police Department’s—past and present—policing strategies.

Historically, many of Milwaukee’s policing strategies are very similar to those of New York City’s, where both crime and incarceration rates have declined—the ultimate win-win for victims and taxpayers. In his book, The City that Became Safe, Franklin Zimring notes, “The 20-year adventure in New York City, was, to be sure, a demonstration project of effective policing, but it was much more than that. It was a demonstration that individual and aggregate crime rates can change substantially over time without removing or incarcerating a larger number of active offenders.”[4]

So what is driving crime rates down in New York City while incarceration rates are also decreasing? Zimring believes it is the NYPD’s aggressive stop and frisk policing model.

Regardless of what Milwaukee Magazine claims[5], the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) has had a long history of proactive policing programs.  In the early 1990s, District Two initiated a highly successful Directed Patrol Mission (DPM) to suppress gang activity. In the late 1990s, District Five used its neighborhood patrol staff to target drug and gang activity. In 1996, the old Gang Crimes Unit, which comprised just 3.3 percent of the MPD’s complement of sworn personnel, took over 3,100 guns off the street, while the Vice Control Division targeted drug dealers citywide. Around the turn of the century, District Three’s special units dramatically reduced violent crime in the Metcalfe Park area.

Retired Milwaukee Police Department Captain Glenn Frankovis had an active hand in many of these district initiatives, long before university professors deemed aggressive proactive policing strategies hip-and-trendy.  Police can disrupt violent crime through policing strategies that hobble criminal organizations with a thousand cuts. Like any legitimate business, if key personnel of a criminal gang are unavailable an organization’s effectiveness decreases.

Yet long-term incarceration rates do have an overall affect on the violent crime rate. This is where criminologists, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officials need to have a serious discussion about what type of individuals occupy prison beds.  While the U.S. accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, America incarcerates 25 percent of the entire world’s inmates.[6] With the federal government running trillion dollar annual deficits and many state budgets in tatters, public safety officials need to ensure that prison beds be reserved for violent offenders, which should include those who traffic hard drugs.

A 1994 study of the prison population notes that “over half the offenders” sent to Wisconsin prisons each year committed property offenses.[7] Many of these offenders receive prison sentences for crimes committed in low-crime jurisdictions, which means other, more violent offenders get released to half-way houses or other non-traditional prison settings to make room for property offenders.

While officials in Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans continue to scratch their heads, all Wisconsin needs is a little tweaking.


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012

[1] “Only 30 Percent of Last Year’s Murders have been Solved.”, January 25, 2012. 10             Feb. 2012. been-solved/

[2] “Federal Agents to Assist Police in Fighting Crime on South, West Side.”, February 10,    2012. 10 Feb. 2012. fighting-crime-on-south-west-side/

[3] “Mayor Landrieu Unveils Plan to Reduce Murder Rate.” November 22, 2011. 10 Feb. 2012.

[4] Zimring, Franklin E. The City that Became Safe, New York, NY. Oxford Press, 2012.

[5] Bamberger, Tom.  “Street Smarts.” January 23, 2012.  10 Feb. 2012.       

[6] Talvi, Silja J.A. (2007). Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S Prison System. Los    Angles. California: Seal Press. pp. xv.

[7] DiIjlio, John & Mitchell, George. “Who Really Goes to Prison in Wisconsin.” The Wisconsin Policy Institute Inc. Milwaukee, WI, April 1996.