At a time when the need for law enforcement is greater than ever before, Mayor Tom Barrett is proposing to reduce Milwaukee’s police force by 120 officers. I am shocked and disappointed to learn this.
Reportedly, the reduction will be in the form of putting a stop on the hiring of new officers to replace those who leave the Milwaukee Police Department. This is part of Mayor Barrett’s 2021 budget proposal.
In recent months, our nation has witnessed riots, looting, and assault on police officers and the general public. Businesses have been destroyed, homes have been attacked, and many laws have been broken.
Each and every American city, regardless of size, needs strong police to ensure public safety. Milwaukee, in particular, given a long history of crime, needs law enforcement presence to keep people safe.
In 2017, Milwaukee was listed in one of the top 50 most dangerous cities in America. Earlier this year, Milwaukee Mayor Barrett himself noted a significant increase in violent crimes in the city, compared to 2019. These included homicides and hundreds of non-fatal shootings.
Mayor Tom Barrett’s proposal to cut the number of police officers in the city, therefore, is flawed. People who are looking to live, work, and grow a family in the largest city in Wisconsin need safety. More police officers, not less, can provide the safety people need and deserve.