PRESS RELEASE: Safe & Sound Honors Four Milwaukee Changemakers and Raises $240,000 in One Night

Contact: Sarah Bloom                                                                                
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MILWAUKEE – September 4th, 2019 – Safe & Sound celebrated their work and honored four of its partners on September 4th during A Night to Unite: The Power of Community at the Italian Community Center. For 21 years, Safe & Sound has united residents, youth, law enforcement and community resources to build safe and empowered neighborhoods. With support from event Co-Chairs Marybeth Budisch, Mark Sabljak and Gregory M. Wesley along with presenting sponsor Wells Fargo, the event raised $240,000, providing critical operating support ensuring that Safe & Sound continues improving public safety in targeted high crime, low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods.

 The 2019 honorees include:

Harris Turer, Milwaukee Admirals – Herb Kohl Champion Award

As owner of the Milwaukee Admirals, and part-owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, Harris is a leader in the City of Milwaukee. Under his leadership, the Milwaukee Admirals regularly donates to local nonprofits through various programs at their games. Harris is also a quiet leader in philanthropic efforts in the city and is rarely recognized for his generous contributions toward making Milwaukee a better place. Harris serves as a leader on the Milwaukee Urban Stables project and is deeply involved with central city youth programming.

“Harris has basically spent his life giving himself to others,” said Sam Williams of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. “What Harris has done with our community has allowed our young people to dream their dreams and to dream big, and through the Soref Scholarship to live that dream.”

Associate Special Agent in Charge Robert Bell, Drug Enforcement Administration – Johnson Controls Law Enforcement Leader Award

Associate Special Agent in Charge Robert Bell has been in law enforcement since 1990. After beginning his time with the St. Charles Police Department in Illinois, he was assigned to an Illinois State Police drug unit as a task force officer, where he served until beginning his DEA Special Agent career in 1995 at the Chicago Division Office. After climbing the ranks with the DEA serving Arlington, Milwaukee, Detroit and other communities, he was selected to serve as Associate Special Agent in Charge for the DEA Chicago Field Division, where he currently has executive leadership and oversight responsibilities for field offices across Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

“[Bob Bell] is certainly a law enforcement leader but at the same time expands that out into the nonprofit sector, and he looks for ways to impact the drug problem on a much broader scale within the community,” said North Central HIDTA Director, Jim Bohn. “He’s dedicated. He works hard and is looking for solutions that will impact the community.”

Clarke Square Parents & Friends, Clarke Square Residents – Kohl’s Resident Leader Award

This resident group, formerly known as the Longfellow Parent Group, is a perfect example of the theme of the annual event: The Power of Community. This dedicated group of moms is committed to making the Clarke Square neighborhood safe for everyone and regularly helps Safe & Sound staff at various events like the Drug Take Back event pictured below. The moms are leaders in their community and can always be counted on to participate in a neighborhood event, and get others involved as well. Though the group is currently all moms, they event changed their name to “Clarke Square Parents & Friends Group” in the hope that all would feel welcome to join the group.

“Safe & Sound made a connection with the Moms of Longfellow because they were interested in getting to know what was actually happening in the neighborhood and wanted to meet Police Officers,” said Milwaukee Police Inspector Alex Ramirez. “I’ve been in District Two for a long time and I’ve seen it change. That is attributed to the Clarke Square Parents and Friends group.”

Takeria Freeman, Amani Resident – Brewers Community Foundation Youth Leader Award

Takeria is a recent graduate of NOVA Middle/High School in COA Goldin Teens, and a leader to fellow youth in the Amani neighborhood. Overcoming adverse circumstances, Takeria has graduated high school while living on her own, and still finds time to actively participate in Safe & Sound youth programming. Takeria was a part of the Goldin Group, a group of young people and seniors who met regularly at COA Youth & Family Centers to talk with each other and bridge the inter-generational gap between groups. She has said participation in these discusses have helped her to keep a level-head and connect to others in her community. Takeria is truly a leader and an inspiration for those around her.

“[Takeria] is an example of what teenagers can do at their best,” said Damien Smith of Safe & Sound. “She’s bringing back a reverence and general respect for our older adults in the community. She’s been an example of what a true community can look like.”

For more information about A Night to Unite: The Power of Community, visit or contact Sarah Bloom at



Safe & Sound is a Milwaukee non-profit that works to bridge the gap between law enforcement and local residents to foster a sense of ownership that results in safer neighborhoods. In partnership with law enforcement, Safe & Sound Neighborhood Teams implement strategic neighborhood engagement and programming that brings neighborhoods together to create a sense of collective efficacy and improve public safety. Over the past 20 years, Safe & Sound has developed a nationally recognized, effective model that is successful in improving public safety in target Milwaukee neighborhoods.