As Milwaukee contends with double the number of homicides compared to the same time last year, Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson said Tuesday he hasn’t yet had time to implement the full public safety plan he proposed at the beginning of his tenure.
Johnson became acting mayor in late December when former Mayor Tom Barrett resigned mid-term to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. Within weeks, he rolled out a plan to combat crime through law enforcement, community healing and neighborhood-level investments.
“When you’re in this position, when a mayor resigns, you get thrusted right into a snap election,” Johnson said Tuesday when asked about homicides during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. “So you’ve got to spend time governing the city, but you also have to campaign for the office.”
Asked what steps within the mayor’s control needed to be taken now to stem homicides, Johnson pivoted to the city’s looming pension crisis.
“For those of you that may not be aware, the drumbeat of death is the fact that we’ve got this increased pension obligation that’s coming up starting next year,” he said.
Johnson’s comments came as Milwaukee has experienced record homicides for two straight years — and as the city has seen homicides double so far in 2022 compared to this time last year.
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