MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee’s newest public safety initiative – “Safer City MKE” – is targeting some of its youngest citizens, and it hinges on a bracelet.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson was quick to say, Thursday, that the initiative is not designed to prevent every crime from happening. Instead, leaders hope wearing the bracelets will remind young adults to be safe and responsible, so the city can reap the benefits for years to come.
With the city on pace to set another record for the most homicides in a year, Johnson remains vocal in his search for solutions.
“It cannot just be on me. It cannot just be on the police. It’s gotta be all of us. Everybody has got some skin in the game,” said Johnson.
The phrase “Safer City MKE” was printed on 5,000 orange bracelets, which will be handed out to teens and young adults in Milwaukee. Leaders hope the wristband reminders can spur positive change.
“It’s something different, you know?” said resident Nevaeh Sampton-Lewis. “To involve more young people, get them involved in positive stuff, because a lot of people out here are stealing cars, doing bad things, so we want to get them to do positive things.”
And the buy-in seems strong already.
“I believe that the city can get safer, and I just want to represent so that other people can make changes too,” said resident Varrianna Jones.
For resident Cortrell Morbley, leading other kids at the Neu-Life Community Development Center is just the start of improving his hometown.
“The safer the city, the better the people in it,” Morbley said. “Especially in trying times, especially in times as these, we wear (the bracelet) to better ourselves and to remind others – older, younger or people, everybody around us – we need to be better.”
The city’s public safety agencies will hand out rewards, likely some form of restaurant coupons, for those who participate in “Safer City MKE.”