State Sen. David Craig
Press Release

Sen. Craig and Rep. Sanfelippo Respond to Mayor Barrett’s Distorted View of Crime in Milwaukee

City of Milwaukee funds Streetcar instead of Police Officers

By - Jan 14th, 2020 04:44 pm

Madison, WI — Today, State Senator David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) and Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) responded to Mayor Tom Barrett’s press conference claiming success on homicide and violence reduction in the City of Milwaukee.

Last month, Attorney General William Barr directed Federal DOJ resources be diverted to seven cities, including Milwaukee, due to violent crime rates high above the national average in an effort called “Operation Relentless Pursuit”.  Mayor Tom Barrett’s 2020 budget proposal would cut 60 police officers.

“The fact that the top law enforcement agency in the Trump Administration sees fighting crime in several major cities as a priority should send a clear message about the violent crime situation in Milwaukee,” said Sen. Craig.

In addition to a lower homicide rate, Mayor Barrett claims a reduction in “carjacking” crimes in 2019. Rep. Sanfelippo and Sen. Craig led efforts to make carjacking a felon in 2017.

“The legislature took carjacking seriously by making it a felony. However, Milwaukee County officials continually undercharge carjacking as ‘joyriding’ which masks the true numbers and skews the data,” said Rep. Sanfelippo. “It’s no surprise Mayor Barrett made sure to cherry-pick carjacking data in his press conference.”

This week, Legislative Republicans unveiled the “Tougher on Crime” initiative, a legislative effort to reform deficiencies in the current criminal justice system and get tougher on crime.

“Mayor Barrett funds streetcar operations in his budget, yet hasn’t fully funded police officers,” said Sen. Craig. “Rep. Sanfelippo and I are trying to help Milwaukee County residents with the ‘Tougher on Crime’ initiative, which is designed to bring some accountability those in the justice system who enable repeat offenders to get back out on the streets.”

“I’m thankful the federal government can see the problem from 600 miles away,” said Rep. Sanfelippo. “I just wish Mayor Barrett would look out his window and see for himself. I’m hopeful that our legislation will help address the crime problem.”

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by State Sen. David Craig

Statement on Extension of “Shelter-in-place” to May 26th

Sen. Craig: “Evers and Palm have gone too far! The Senate must reject Palm now!”

Senator Craig Statement on Governor Evers’ Shelter-in-place Order

Madison, WI — Today, State Senator David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) released the following statement relating to Governor Tony Evers’ Shelter-in-Place Order: “A decision of such magnitude like a ‘shelter-in-place’ order, regardless of what the government calls it, should only be established through the surety and specificity of an act of the legislature because of its extreme effects on Wisconsin families and businesses. Such action could stem the tide of confusion and anxiety being experienced by employers and employees all across the state. “Further, Governor Evers needs to articulate the specific information he received which caused contradiction between his Friday statement ‘I believe that we’ll be able to avoid [a shelter-in-place order]’ and today’s statement that he will make such an order effective tomorrow. “Additionally, last week I requested the Governor and Attorney General provide details as to how the government’s actions abide by the constitutional strict scrutiny that is required. Their continued silence on these issues is unacceptable given the precipitously negative impacts on civil rights and the economy. “Because of the Governor’s extreme step, I believe the legislature should consider the following protections for Wisconsin citizens: Require legislative approval of any statewide “shelter-in-place” order for reasons of pandemic or infectious disease Require legislative passive review of any “Emergency Declaration” after 30 days, with affirmative approval needed for a state of emergency lasting longer than 60 days Require a written report detailing the satisfaction of strict scrutiny concerns be given to the legislature prior to a ban of gatherings of 50 or fewer is to be in effect Require an immediate report to the legislature of arrests for mass gathering violations “The constitution was not designed to be disregarded in a time of crisis, in fact, it was specifically designed to be most valuable and applicable during times of crisis when liberties are most at risk.”

Sen. Craig Responds to Gov. Evers’ State of the State Address

“Republican legislative majorities will continue to take a commonsense approach and govern responsibly by limiting government overreach while supporting a free-market economy, which is the very recipe that has led to one of the most prosperous decades in state history.” 

3 thoughts on “Sen. Craig and Rep. Sanfelippo Respond to Mayor Barrett’s Distorted View of Crime in Milwaukee”

  1. Alan Bartelme says:

    Two suburbanites ranting about the big scary city? Shocking.

  2. says:

    Perhaps if we cut back on racial profiling we could get by without adding officers.

  3. mkeumkenews09 says:

    Milwaukee ranks 30th in the country for the most number of police officers per resident, for U.S. cities with over 50,000 residents. The underlying issues cannot be solved by the police, who are dealing with the aftermath of crimes.

    Streetcar funding cannot be made available for law enforcement or other city services, which is well known by those who state otherwise.

    Investment and development along the existing streetcar route continues to grow – as predicted. It is past time for the streetcar expansion to move forward to subsequent neighborhoods!

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