Given long-standing seasonal patterns in crime trends, it’s may be no surprise the homicide rate and gun violence that reached historic highs in Milwaukee in 2020 slowed during the first quarter of 2021.
From January through March, homicides drifted back in the direction of pre-2020 averages for this time of year. But the violence, especially nonfatal shootings, has persisted at higher-than-normal rates.
“I believe we’re managing,” said Acting Police Chief Jeffrey Norman in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “2021 is still difficult. Crime is still at high levels.
“As an executive leader, I've got to be optimistic.”
As of March 31, Milwaukee had recorded 27 homicides this year. That’s down from 35 during the same window in 2020, a period that did not include the brunt of the pandemic but was still marred by rarer incidents, such as a mass shooting at the Molson Coors complex in which a worker killed five people, then killed himself.