On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the Finance & Personnel Committee decided not to accept the almost $10 million Federal COPS grant to provide 30 police officers for the Milwaukee Community. These 30 officers would provide valuable resources for the community. Alderman Kovac stated they turned down the grant “based on fiscal realities and mainly for philosophical reasons”. The city just surveyed the citizens of Milwaukee and they are satisfied with the police service they are receiving at current staffing levels.
By turning down this grant, the city will put future funding grants from the federal government in jeopardy. Of the 30 officers that would be hired by this grant, it is expected that about 80% would be minorities. The council speaks about a more diverse force all the time, this grant would help to provide that.
It is unfathomable to think why the city would turn down almost 10 million dollars in free federal funding unless there is a separate agenda. Per the budget and management director, Dennis Yaccarino, the next four years, 450-600 officers may be lost through attrition. This grant would provide money to replace some of those officers free of charge to city taxpayers, for the first three years. Is it the intention of the common council not to replace any of the up to 600 police officer positions? That will drop the authorized staff from around 1400 to 800. The elimination of 600 officers equate to almost half of our current staffing for Police Officers.
The Milwaukee community has stated that they want more police officers. They want these officers to patrol their streets. They want officers to respond to assignments. They have voiced this to the alderpersons. But the alderpersons appear to be ignoring this fact.
It is certain that activists have voiced their displeasure with the police department, but most of you have spoken in favor of police. The alderpersons appear afraid to Stand Up to the activist and stop the actions of the few that clearly will endanger so many. The alderpersons appear to be setting a posture to defund the Milwaukee Police Department.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Milwaukee Community. If the intention of this common council is to reduce 450 police officers from the city, the professional police officers that we represent will continue to try and do everything we can to combat disorder and crime, but with up to 600 less of us, it is likely that the response times to your calls may double. You may not get an officer for everything that you call for. Crime rates will continue to increase, and many more lives will likely be lost to homicide and reckless driving. You and your family will run the risk of being one of these victims. Ladies and Gentlemen of Milwaukee, we care deeply about the Milwaukee Community and want everyone to be able to feel safe in their community. We urge you to call your alderman and voice your concerns. Stay safe,
Dale Bormann Jr. Milwaukee Police Association President