Violent crime down in Kenosha halts beat patrol assistance from state
The good news: Violent crime is down, and the population is up.
The bad news: As a result of the good news, the Kenosha PD is no longer able to receive beat patrol funding it has been getting from the state.
Nevertheless, Mayor Keith Bosman said he is committed to finding a way to continue walking beat patrol with or without the state money.
“We will find a way to work through it,” Mayor Keith Bosman said in a press release.
Here’s the text of the entire statement from Bosman’s office:
Due to a decrease in violent crime combined with an increase in population, the city of Kenosha Police Department is no longer eligible for approximately $140,000 in annual beat patrol grant funding from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance. “This is good news and bad news,” said Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman. “The good news is that violent crime in Kenosha is lower per capita as compared to the rest of the state. We are happy to see Kenosha’s community safety improving. The bad news is we are no longer eligible for the state funding.”
The Kenosha Police Department has been the recipient of the State of Wisconsin beat patrol grant for the past several years. The grant is awarded based on a calculation involving population and violent crime statistics. Only the top ten cities with a population over 25,000 and ranked from high to low in violent crime rate per capita in the state are eligible for the grant, which is awarded in three-year cycles. In previous years, the City of Kenosha was ranked 10th – the lowest ranking possible to still qualify for funding. Kenosha has dropped to 14th in the ranking. Milwaukee is ranked first, followed by Beloit and Racine.
For the past few years the Kenosha Police Department has used these funds to re-establish a walking patrol in the downtown and uptown business districts. The mayor plans to continue the beat patrols, despite the funding cut. “This is one more challenge in an ever-challenging budget,” Bosman said. “Public safety is one of my priorities for our community. We will find a way to work through it.”
“It has been proven that when police are seen walking a beat, it can make a difference,” said Police Chief John Morrissey. “They are able to develop relationships with business owners and residents. I also think we see a better level of trust and interaction between the officers and citizens.”
“While losing the funding is significant, abandoning the beat patrols would be a significant step backwards in dealing with the quality of life issues in the downtown and uptown business districts,” Morrissey said.
Following is the list of the Wisconsin cities with the ten highest levels of violent crime per capita: 1 Milwaukee; 2 Beloit; 3 Racine; 4 Green Bay; 5 Madison; 6 Fond du Lac; 7 West Allis; 8 La Crosse; 9 Wausau; and 10 Appleton.