MILWAUKEE (AP) -

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says a good way to reduce the crime rate is for his officers to do less driving through troubled neighborhoods and more walking and talking with the residents who live there.

Flynn says officers should approach more people and engage them in conversation. He says the tactic could help officers learn important information about crimes and gang activity.

Gun violence has spiked in Milwaukee this year. There have been 62 homicides through Thursday, a 19 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

The 343 non-fatal shootings over the same period represent a 5 percent increase.

Flynn says it would help if lawmakers got tougher on crime, but he says it's also up to his officers to be more active in policing their communities.