Mayor Barrett’s 2020 Budget cuts 60 police officers – and that’s the good news
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan October 10, 2019
The media has been running stories in the past few weeks about the Mayor’s 2020 Budget, how it threatens to cut 60 police officer positions through attrition, and how this might affect the public safety of our community.
I only wish this was the worst of it.
Hidden below the headlines is the even harder truth that, next year, 244 officers will be eligible for retirement. Let that number sink in and ask yourself how the Milwaukee Police Department, already challenged as it is to keep up with troubling increases in crime and disorder, can manage.
And it is true that only a net of 60 positions will be cut. Serving as a police officer, however, isn’t the sort of job you just walk into, where one officer leaves and another arrives to take his or her place It takes months of training at our police academy followed by another half year of probation before an officer is deemed ready. What is more, the 244 officers eligible to retire represent centuries of combined experience in policing. This is front-line, on-the-job training earned the hard way that cannot be replaced in a classroom.
In my conversations with the Milwaukee Police Association, I have been told more than once that the union has made suggestions to the Mayor as to how veteran officers might be retained – encouraged to remain on the job. These same representatives tell me they’ve met with little response and no action.
So, while the Common Council will soon debate 60 positions, my own thoughts turn to the summer of 2020, when I will be retired from public service. How long will residents wait for a police response from a department short not 60, but 100, or even 200 officers? How much can a department so desperately short of officers be reasonably expected to do?
These are questions I sincerely hope the media will ask all involved in our up-coming deliberations.
- City Hall: Council Overrides Every Barrett Veto - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 26th, 2019
- City Hall: Barrett Issues 8 Budget Vetoes - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 19th, 2019
- This afternoon the City of Milwaukee just got less safe - Ald. Bob Donovan - Nov 8th, 2019
- City Hall: Council Cuts Police, Adopts $1.6 Billion Budget - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 8th, 2019
- City Hall: Proposal Uses Lead Abatement Funds for Marketing - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 7th, 2019
- Transportation: Street Safety Funding Passes Committee - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 6th, 2019
- Omnibus budget amendment supports birthing moms pilot, violence interrupters, participatory budget initiative and more - Ald. Milele Coggs - Nov 1st, 2019
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Proposal Would Fund Emergency Housing - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 31st, 2019
- City Hall: Proposal Gives Residents a Basic Income - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 31st, 2019
- City Hall: Community Outpouring Over City Budget - Isiah Holmes - Oct 14th, 2019
Read more about 2020 Milwaukee Budget here
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Ald. Bob Donovan
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan March 31, 2020
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan - March 9, 2020
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