September 15, 2014 by FOX6 — Milwaukee police make more arrests in the city’s ongoing string of violence involving young people. A 17-year-old and a 12-year-old have been taken into custody — accused of attacking and robbing an adult. It happened late Sunday, September 14th near 13th and Dakota. The 33-year-old victim recognized one of his attackers, and told police where to find them. Since the beginning of September, more than a dozen kids have been arrested for their role in robberies throughout the city. It’s something that’s frustrating for those who work to keep these young people out of trouble.
Inside a nondescript building off of Fond du Lac Avenue is an opportunity for inner-city adolescents to step into a different world — one where they can learn, and then let loose. “They`re gonna see the day-to-day negativity that happens in their life and sometimes at home, but what`s the alternative? And that`s what we try to provide – that different programming or those different opportunities,” Running Rebels Executive Assistant Michael Peeples said. Running Rebels is one of several organizations offering an escape for teens in the city’s roughest neighborhoods. Those organizations have been challenged this month by a rash of crime, committed by teenagers.
Milwaukee police say since September 1st, they’ve arrested 14 juveniles who are part of several different crews responsible for at least 56 robberies. “The purpose of our program is to focus on them before they cross over,” Jamie Ferguson with the Westcare Foundation said. Ferguson and the Westcare Foundation run the “Face Forward” program. It is open to teens who have been convicted of a juvenile offense. Ferguson says in many cases, just having a positive role model can make all the difference for someone.
“As implausible as it might be for a lot of people to believe that, that`s certainly what the case is. There are blocks and blocks and neighborhoods of people, young people, who don`t have access to positive presences in their lives,” Ferguson said. Peeples says that’s exactly what the staff at Running Rebels is aiming for. “The best thing to do is continue to live that example out and have that opportunity for young people to be able to see adults making the right decisions,” Peeples said.
Police say as they continue to investigate, those they have arrested could end up being responsible for more than 100 robberies. The “Face Forward” program is only open to those convicted of a juvenile offense. Anyone who has been convicted as an adult isn’t eligible.