Milwaukee Public Schools.
Riverwest BP Gas Station
State Fair Park
and now….Milwaukee County Transit Buses.
The list grows longer for public places tainted with youth violence. When will it cease?
It has gotten so bad on the city buses that Chief Flynn announced Friday that his officers will now patrol bus stops on routes with the most problems in order to deter violence.
Because buses are moving vehicles on county roads, safety on the bus system is normally handled by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department. But Chief Flynn said Friday that his officers would step in to keep crime under control.
Sheriff David Clarke has assigned some deputies to bus patrols in the past. It’s no secret Sheriff Clarke is frustrated with the recent string of attacks, but he says the 2012 budget cuts implemented by County Executive Chris Abele will limit his department’s ability to protect riders. Because of that, Clarke advised the public last week that they would be riding at their own risk.
MCTS also uses the private security firm G4S Wackenhut (some people refer to them as rent-a-cops) to monitor the buses as well. According to the Journal Sentinel, Wackenhut has responded to the bulk of this year’s 3,200 service calls about problems on buses.
But county executive Chris Abele says the county bus system is the safest it’s been in five years.
A 24-year-old woman was attacked on a bus Thursday near 35th & Fond du Lac Ave. in front of her 2-year-old son.
A driver was assaulted last week by a rider who refused to pay his fare.
A bus was involved in a road-rage incident when the driver of a car cut off the bus, then pulled over and punched the window of the bus door.
Last Tuesday, MPD reported more than 30 teenagers went on a public rampage on Atkinson & Capitol, assaulting innocent bystanders in front of the library after four of them were kicked off a bus.
And the list goes on.
I’m no political debater and I try to avoid those arguments, but Mr. Abele, does that sound safe to you?
Not only has it become dangerous for riders, but drivers can’t even go to work without worrying if they will be attacked during their shifts.
People are calling this city “Detroit Jr.”
Where is this youth infatuation with group violence and attacking adults coming from?
What can be done to make things better? How can we take our city back?