County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

Abele’s 2014 Budget Features New Public Safety Initiative

The budget also provides the Sheriff the flexibility to avoid any Deputy layoffs while continuing to realign the department to focus on its core mission in a fully incorporated County.

By - Sep 25th, 2013 05:00 pm

MILWAUKEE –  Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will unveil his 2014 Proposed Budget tomorrow. The budget, which does not include a tax increase and continues to lower the County’s massive long term debt, features more than ten million dollars in new and repurposed public safety funding.

The money is part of County Executive Abele’s new comprehensive Public Safety Initiative, a coordinated and targeted plan designed to increase the County’s public safety performance, transparency, inter-agency cooperation and accountability.

“Nothing is more important than public safety, and because it is so important it deserves a thoughtful and disciplined approach,” Abele said. “While I am adding significant resources, this plan is about more than just money, it’s also about strong partnerships and leveraging resources across the County to make everyone safer.”

In Abele’s 2014 Budget, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office receives $72.2 million and accounts for 22% of the County’s tax levy. The Sheriff’s budget includes a significant increase in freeway patrol funding and overtime. Under this plan, the Sheriff’s Office will have the largest freeway patrol staff since 2004.

The budget also provides the Sheriff the flexibility to avoid any Deputy layoffs while continuing to realign the department to focus on its core mission in a fully incorporated County.

County Executive Abele’s Public Safety Initiative also includes:

  • Partnerships with Milwaukee Police and other police departments to patrol County Parks while gathering data to track activity in the parks.
  • $350,000 for the expansion of the MPD ShotSpotter program for use around parks on the north and south sides.
  • $7.1 million to upgrade the countywide public radio safety system from analog to digital.
  • $1 million for 911 equipment upgrades.
  • Nine new Sheriff Deputies for Courtroom Security.
  • New x-ray security scanner machines at the Courthouse Complex.
  • A new safety and security system at the Behavioral Health Hospital, including 45 new security cameras.
  • $600,000 for fire protection equipment upgrades at numerous county facilities.
  • Seven new District Attorney Investigator positions to deal with focus on the apprehension of inmates and increase child support collections supporting families.
  • Expansion of the DA’s Victim/Witness Program.
  • $2.5 million for repairs and upgrades at the House of Correction.
  • Funding at the HOC to add and improve programming and treatment to reduce recidivism of inmates.
  • The addition of a Forensics Investigator and Assistant Medical Examiner to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
  • The creation of a new Department of Emergency Preparedness to increase the transparency and interagency coordination of Emergency Management and 911 Communications.

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