Patrol shows why officers need citizen backup

CREATED Jun 16, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - When the screaming and yelling in the middle of 34th Street became too much for Gary Colorez to bear Monday night, the Marine veteran picked up his phone and called 911.

Colorez is not easily scared and encouraged others in troubled parts of his city to have the same courage to fight back.
 
“If you’re afraid to call it in, don’t complain," he said. "Because if you want to save your neighborhood, you have to be involved.”
 
Colorez's call was answered by a handful of officers, including Deborah Stacey and William Krumnow. For three hours Monday night, they showed a reporter around the most problematic parts of District 3, an area of central Milwaukee stretching from Center St. on the north to the I-94 on the south.
 
Having the eyes and ears of more concerned citizens working with them is essential to keeping a lid on violence.
 
"Even if we can get a couple people to call who never would before, that’s huge," Officer Stacey said. "Whatever we can get to help us fight crime on the streets."
 
People like Colorez are the kind of neighbors police dream of, mostly. He admits calling officers a dozen times for issues on his block in the last year. But Colorez is also frustrated that it can sometime take police 30 minutes to respond to a call.