Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Thirteen Council members demand action from MPD, FPC

Seek re-prioritization of traffic enforcement, immediate review of no pursuit policy

By - Apr 20th, 2017 10:15 am

Thirteen Common Council members have joined forces in demanding that the Fire and Police Commission order Chief Edward Flynn to re-prioritize traffic enforcement activity by the Milwaukee Police Department.

In a letter (attached) to the Fire and Police Commission, the 13 members also ask the commissioners to order the chief to redraw the MPD’s pursuit policy.

According to Alderman Bob Donovan, chair of the Public Safety Committee, the Council members have seen repeated reckless driving incidents firsthand and have been hearing about them for some time from fed up residents. “For the safety of innocent citizens, we need to do something to reduce the problem, and we are asking the Fire and Police Commission to order the reset by the chief on traffic enforcement – something the Council cannot do,” he said.

Additionally, Alderman Donovan said he spoke “at length” with Chief Flynn Wednesday (April 19) to discuss the pursuit policy, traffic enforcement, and juvenile justice issues. “Chief Flynn indicated that efforts to increase traffic enforcement are underway, so that is encouraging to hear. I expect our officers to enforce all of our laws at all times, and that expectation is shared by my colleagues, as well,” he said.

On the “broken juvenile justice system,” Chief Flynn pulled no punches, Alderman Donovan said. “The police arrest individuals for serious offenses, multiple times, and then nothing happens to them (in the system),” he said. “I agree with the chief that our judges and our system need to be held accountable, or else the cycle will just continue.”

Alderman Donovan said on the pursuit policy, Chief Flynn has “staked out his position, and it is not aligned with mine nor with most of my colleagues. “He (chief) said he is willing to defend his pursuit policy before the Fire and Police Commission, so hopefully he will have that opportunity very soon.”
During what he described as yesterday’s “spirited” conversation with Chief Flynn, Alderman Donovan said there were some “very enlightening comments” about the criminal justice system in Milwaukee County.

“I agree with the chief that we have far too many lenient judges, far too many lenient (assistant) district attorneys, and we are working with a juvenile justice system that is universally recognized as broken,” Alderman Donovan said.

“I’d be very interested in knowing how many cases are plea-bargained down, how many cases are dismissed, and how many criminals are regularly slapped on the wrist and then released back into the community – only to end up re-offending,” he said.

Alderman Donovan said the city can continue to “ask the Milwaukee Police Department to do more with less manpower,” but if that continues in a vacuum, nothing will change. “Until these other components of our criminal justice system become more accountable, I fear our problems will persist,” he said.

“And there was one last thing that the chief and I agree on: Isn’t it rather ironic that some of the same Council members seemingly eager to sign this letter were unwilling to support state legislation holding repeat criminals more accountable,” he said.

He added: “Go figure.”

More about the Pursuit Policy

Recent Press Releases by Ald. Bob Donovan

It’s time we rethink County government

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan November 11, 2019

This afternoon the City of Milwaukee just got less safe

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan November 8, 2019

Mayor Barrett’s 2020 Budget cuts 60 police officers – and that’s the good news

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan October 10, 2019

7 thoughts on “Alderman Donovan asks for change in MPD vehicle pursuit policy”

  1. CJ says:

    I thought this policy was to decrease crashes involved with chases and that incidents of property and cycling gettiung hurt has dramatically decreased.

  2. PMD says:

    This policy was implemented because in a two-month period 4 innocent people were killed by drivers fleeing police.

  3. Paul says:

    It’s time to change this policy, these young thugs know if they hit the gas they’re home free

  4. PMD says:

    Yes let’s get back to police chases so more innocent people die. Very smart Paul. You should run for police chief or alderman.

  5. Paul says:

    PMD, what was that older couple that was killed a few weeks ago guilty of, they were killed by a repeat criminal that had stolen cars before and wasn’t being chased when the crash happened. It’s time to lock up these criminals before they kill someone.

  6. Eric S says:

    It’s a balancing act. If the police chase, there is a risk to innocent people (as well as the pursuing officers and the suspect) that happen to be on the street. If the police do not chase, there is also the possibility that the suspect is a violent offender and may commit another violent act in the future. Many jurisdictions have decided that the risk of the former is great enough that they have adopted similar policies – only chasing when suspects are KNOWN violent offenders.

  7. Paul says:

    Eric, I believe it should be up to the discretion of the officer. Car theft should be a felony with mandatory jail time. You’ll never know if it’s a violent offender behind the wheel unless you stop them.

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