Empower Wisconsin | May 24, 2022
Gov. Tony Evers is pulling more money from his taxpayer-funded re-election slush fund in an attempt to revise his miserable record on law enforcement and public safety.
Milwaukee’s police union president says it’s too little, too late.
On Monday, Evers announced he’s handing out more than $2.2 million in federal COVID relief funding to the Milwaukee Police Department. The money, marked for violent crime prevention and prosecution, comes from the $2.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act money Evers controls.
The governor said the money will help the police department hire ballistics technology managers and sexual assault kit processors. The positions are civilian contractors, not more cops on the street. The federal funds will also pay for forensic workstations, air tanks and on-scene ballistic analysis, night vision devices and pedestrian security fencing downtown.
The governor’s latest cash dump comes after a mass shooting earlier this month in downtown Milwaukee that injured more than a dozen people. As of Monday, there had been 86 reported homicides in Milwaukee, 26 more than this time last year and on pace to smash the last two years of record murders in one of the most violent cities in America.
“Every family and every kid deserves safe communities to live, work, learn, and play in, and that includes the city of Milwaukee,” Evers said in a press release.. “Violence is never the answer, and I am hopeful that today’s investment, paired with the more than $100 million (statewide) investments we have made already, will give the city of Milwaukee some additional tools to curb crime and keep folks safe.”
But the money is really going to clean up the damage done by progressive justice programs and initiatives pushed by liberals like Evers, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Milwaukee city leaders. This is the same governor who has vilified the law enforcement officials he is now making a big show of supporting — just months before the November election.
Andrew Wagner, president of the Milwaukee Police Association, says any money for law enforcement helps, especially in the wake of the City Council’s police defunding movement. But Wagner said Evers’ election-year handouts haven’t really focused on the department’s biggest need: manpower. Or outdated squad cars, Crown Victorias that haven’t been manufactured in more than a decade.
The department has seen a flood of retirements and resignations over the last couple of years, in no small part due to elected leaders’ lack of support for police officers in an increasingly dangerous job.
“The timing is interesting, when they’re coming up for elections,” the police union leader said. “I guess they feel the need to do something to say they’re tough on crime, but we need police on the ground.”