Councilmen opposed to downgrade in preference points for military veterans
News release from Aldermen Bob Donovan and Mark A. Borkowski
Alderman Bob Donovan and Alderman Mark A. Borkowski are not pleased with a move by the Fire and Police Commission to reduce hiring preference points for military veterans seeking to become Milwaukee police officers or firefighters.
The FPC has announced that veterans will be given three preference points as officer/firefighter candidates, as opposed to the previous 10 preference points.
Alderman Donovan, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said military veterans are well-suited for police and firefighter work specifically because of their background and training. “They (veterans) come from a rigorous environment centered on discipline and a chain of command, and I know well that they fit right in with the police department because it is a paramilitary organization,” he said.
Noting that candidates are ranked on military service, education level attained and city residency, Alderman Donovan said he is disappointed the FPC is making the downgrade of preference for veterans.
“Candidates get more points if they live in the city than they do for their military service,” he said. “These are men and women who have put their lives on the line in service for our country, yet we think it’s more important that they sleep at night within the city limits?”
“This doesn’t make any sense,” Alderman Donovan said.
Alderman Borkowski, vice chair of the Public Safety Committee, said he fears the lessening of preference points for veterans will reduce the quality of applicants “and ultimately soften the ranks” of Milwaukee police officers and firefighters.
“Military veterans are sharp and often tested – literally – under fire,” Alderman Borkowski said.
“They (veterans) are looked to with respect and are often leaders in the ranks. Personally, I would much rather be partnered with a military veteran out in the field than not,” he said.
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