Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Body collection in Milwaukee begins May 1

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced today, April 1, that due to the high volume of homicides expected on the North Side of Milwaukee this summer, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will be running special carts down the city streets to collect the bodies. The service will run May 1 through September 1, 2017.

“While I’m concerned at the amount of gun violence in our streets,” Barrett said, “The carts will also collect the victims of stabbings and those run over by stolen cars.”

Barrett said the carts will run pick ups weekdays during normal business hours to avoid overtime costs and to protect city employee safety.

“I am aware of the need for night collection of bodies due to the high volume,” Barrett said. “I call on the state legislature to send more aid to the cities for this essential service.”

DPW Deputy Ole Scratchinsky said the carts will be recognizable by the city logo on the side, the yellow and black marking, and the robed figures wearing orange safety vests pushing them.

“Residents will be made aware of the pick up times by the city worker announcing, ‘Bring out yer dead’ and ringing a bell,” Scratchinsky said.

DPW workers will not yell or ring the bell when the cart is full, Scratchinsky said, so residents are asked to wait patiently until the next cart arrives.

If the bodies cannot wait until morning, Scratchinsky said, they will still be collected at midnight basketball games as in years past.

“However, weekend pickup at school playgrounds will not be possible due to a lack of funding,” Scratchinsky said. “We strongly encourage residents to keep the body in a cool, dry place until pick up can be effected on Monday.”

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