The Milwaukee Police Association, in a statement decrying the upcoming city budget, declared that “what is crystal clear is that this social experience of defunding the police is an absolute failure” and revealed that the Milwaukee Police detective bureau is down 56 detective positions or 25%.
“Now if you commit murder in Milwaukee, you have a 50% chance of getting away with it,” MPA’s Acting President Andrew Wagner wrote in a news release obtained by Wisconsin Right Now.
“Even worse, if you ‘just’ shoot someone, you have only a 37% chance of getting caught. The Police Department is down 56 detective positions, over a quarter of the entire unit.”
The Milwaukee Police Association says in the Sept. 22, 2001, news release that the upcoming 2022 budget cycle has left Milwaukee police feeling “helpless.”
“Over the past years, we have seen significant cuts to the police budget. In turn, we have seen a 13% increase in overall part one crimes from 2019-2020, including a 95% increase in homicides. In 2020-2021 so far, Milwaukee experienced a 36% increase in overall part one crimes,” Wagner wrote.
“The Officers and Detectives who see this violence play out in the community want nothing more than the proper staffing to properly protect our citizens,” MPA wrote. “Recent polls show that the community overwhelmingly supports the police, yet, unfortunately, only a loud minority is heard.”
“This helpless feeling comes from the continued degradation of the importance of police.”
The MPA asked when the city will follow its own mission statement that states, “The mission of city government is to enhance the safety, prosperity and qualify of life of all our residents.”
When the police department was “staffed appropriately,” Milwaukee saw “substantially lower crime rates,” including one of the highest homicide clearance rates in the country at 93% in 2008, wrote Wagner.
“With homicides doubling and less detectives to investigative, it’s a wonder how we are even still at 50%. When will the city take notice of the victims of these crimes, when will these lives matter?”
The city needs to “start understanding what many other cities around this country already have and that is to reinvest money in its Police Department. Why is that when we see failures in other government programs, we throw money at them and blame funding for all their problems? Take MPS as an example. Never have I heard ‘school children are failing, let’s slash their budget.'”
Wagner asked, “Why is this thought process of ‘defunding’ the Police Department acceptable? People are literally being killed, raped, robbed and having their vehicle stolen at record rates and the city’s solution is to cut more from the only proven city entity known to stop these horrors.”
He concluded, “I ask our city leaders to reconsider your positions on the importance of police funding and staff the police department appropriately if you want a prosperous Milwaukee and a place for people to raise their families without fear. We want a chance of successfully completing our mission of arresting bad people and keeping them away from the 99.99 percent of good people that just want to live safety without worry of becoming a victim.”