Addressing violent crime, car thefts and racial disparities would be some of Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas’s priorities should voters elect him to be Milwaukee’s next mayor.

Lucas said he wants to work with community members and get the police “on its toes” working hard to reduce violent crime in Milwaukee. The 63 year-old who grew up in the Hillside housing projects on Milwaukee’s northwest side said increasing community policing efforts and traffic stops will help police fight illegal guns, drugs and human trafficking.

“Violent crime is our most pressing problem here in the city of Milwaukee,” he said. “And I’ve said all along this journey that the key to our economic prosperity and economic viability is solving this crime problem.”

He said solving violent crime will not only improve public safety, but also improve the financial standing of many Milwaukeeans by making neighborhoods safer and more attractive to businesses. Increasing police traffic stops will help in the short term, but he added an all-hands-on deck approach is needed.

“More importantly, we need to engage our community to a level,” he said. “We certainly have a robust violence prevention program here in the city of Milwaukee and they help like all of us do in the community. Everybody’s got to be working; the philanthropic community, the faith-based community and the business community and others.”

To address racial inequality, Lucas said he wants to work with community leaders around the city to address issues he says unite all Milwaukeeans such as violent crime, reckless driving, stolen cars education and health.

“As mayor I hope to work with our community, bring in leaders from every community, from every perspective,” he said. “Let us begin working on things that unite us and not those things that divide us.”

Lucas said he also wants to work with automakers to make cars harder to steal. He compared rising car thefts and reckless driving to safety issues automakers addressed in the past after elected officials applied pressure.

“This is the seatbelt challenge of our generation right now,” he said. “What do we do about the engineering of cars that they can be stolen so easily, so readily.”

Listen to the interview here.

See more on the Milwaukee mayoral race at the Milwaukee Mayoral Race page.

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