Milwaukee: Arrests drop 61%, crime soars

The city has seen the number of officers drop to levels not seen since 2006.

The police’s main job is to fight crime. So if there are fewer police officers, and those that remain make fewer arrests, crime increases.

This is what can be concluded from the recent situation in Milwaukee, where the number of arrests is 61% lower than it was a decade ago, and the city is fourth in the nation for increasing levels of crime. According to Republican candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General Eric Toney, the city is now "one of the most dangerous cities in America."

Homicides up by 38%

If we compare the data from the first half of 2022 to the first half of 2020, the number of homicides has increased by 38%: from 81 to 110. Human trafficking (+17%) or arson (+32%) follow suit, while rapes (-14%) and robberies (-11%) have gone down.

One of Eric Toney's proposals is to put more police officers on the streets. The truth is that in recent years the opposite has happened: the number of officers has gone down. In 2021 there were 1,839 officers, which was the lowest number since 2006, and 10% less than in 2012. Still, the number of calls is high: Police responded to 279,818 incidents in 2021, which is the most since 2016, according to Just the News.

Fewer arrests

Fewer officers are responding to more calls, but arresting far fewer. Thus, the number of arrests has steadily declined in Milwaukee. If in 2012 there were 34,326, in 2019, the year before the pandemic outbreak, there were already half that: 17,007. And that figure has fallen even further to 13,272 in 2021, which is 61% less than in 2012.

One of the keys is provided by response time data, collected by Fox. In District 1, the response time for Priority 1 calls was 7:01 minutes in 2019, and so far this year it is 9:16. For priority 2, it has gone from 12:02 minutes to 14:12. And for priority 3, from 15:00 to 29:19, practically double. The same trend is consistent in the other six police districts.

Police dropouts

What is happening in Milwaukee is not exclusive to just that area. Across the country, police officers are leaving the police force at an "unheard of" rate. One reason is police defunding, a movement that has been particularly successful in New York and San Francisco. As a result, crime in these cities has risen significantly.