Milwaukee police chief holds annual roll call at MPS school

CREATED Jun 12, 2014 - UPDATED: Jun 12, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee has already seen its fair share of violence this spring.

Because many of the victims have been school-age children, Milwaukee police officers lined up outside of North Division High School Thursday for Chief Ed Flynn’s annual roll call. 

The school year ends for many students this week, and Flynn is relying on the officers to keep the kids safe.

“Because they are on bicycles, they are accessible to the community,” Flynn said. “And that evolves a level of trust that results in people telling them things because folks will tell coppers they trust information they don't tell coppers they don't know."

Marvel Coleman is a crisis worker. He mentors some of the troubled kids inside North Division High School. As police officers lined up outside, he admitted he wasn't always on the right path.

“I have a record that dates back 12, 13 years," Coleman said.

He said he is encouraged by the sight of the officers, and grateful they're working to cut down on crime. Still, it's a community effort. One that Marvel, too, is a part of.

"Even if they're communicating with some of their friends, I try to speak to them as well and let them know that violence isn't the answer to everything," Coleman said.

The roll call is part of the beginning of "Operation School's Out." As cops work to keep the streets safe this summer, parents are doing their part to keep an eye on their kids.

A mother who talked to TODAY’S TMJ4 says she has a 16-year-old son. She said she is trying to find him responsible mentors because she knows he's more likely to listen, and be influenced by one of his peers than an adult.