Empower Wisconsin | Sept 30, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Milwaukee’s dangerously liberal government is on the path of defunding its police department, slashing the city’s law enforcement budget and putting citizens in peril, the head of the Milwaukee police union tells Empower Wisconsin.
“These are crazy times right now,” said Dale Bormann Jr., president of the Milwaukee Police Association.
Mayor Tom Barrett’s budget proposal calls for cutting 120 police positions next year. The Democrat arrives at the number through a combination of attrition and by canceling police academy classes next year.
The law enforcement funding cuts are in response to the loud voices of Black Lives Matter radical activists and their pals on the city council, insisting that Milwaukee drastically cut the budget for a department it has villainized as systemically racist.
Bormann said he’s hearing the cuts will run a lot deeper for a city hellbent on defunding — as veteran law enforcers look to leave a community that seemingly no longer has their back.
Since 2013, Boorman said the Milwaukee Police Department has lost 172 sworn positions, including staffing reductions in 2020 thus far.
By the end of 2020, the force will have 138 members that can retire, with 54 and 24 more joining the ranks respectively in 2021 and 2022, the union chief said.
“The Mayor has cut 120 positions from the budget for 2021. But the Common Council will cut additional officers from the payroll through layoffs,” said Boorman, who has sat in on recent committee meetings and has heard the charged rhetoric from council members.
Barrett’s budget proposes bringing in 30 recruits that would be funded by a federal grant, but the woke Common Council doesn’t seem to want anything to do with the COPS grant or the policing positions it would create.
When all is said in done, Bormann predicts MPD could lose more than 500 positions in the next couple of years, as the council moves to defund. That doesn’t include officers promoted to positions that take them off street patrol.
The mayor’s budget proposal includes some 1,680 sworn officers on the force by the end of 2021.
As the defund-the-police movement picks up steam, Milwaukee is quickly approaching a record year for homicides. As of Monday, there were 138 homicides in the city, compared to 66 by the same time last year, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. The city’s high mark occurred in 1991, when it recorded 165 murders.
Barrett’s budget effectively freezes the police budget at about $300 million, still the biggest portion of the city operations budget.
But the decimation of rank-and-file positions will impact response times, intervention programs, community policing and law enforcement morale, Bormann said.
“We saw it in Minnesota. They wanted to defund the police, now they’re crying the blues because they don’t have enough officers to respond to certain assignments,” the police union president said.
Minneapolis city leaders in June boldly declared they would defund the police department following George Floyd’s death. Now, some of the council members who endorsed the pledge are having second thoughts.
“A recent spike in crime in Minneapolis has led many residents to reevaluate their support for reducing police numbers, and some told the New York Times they never supported the idea to begin with,” the left-wing Daily Beast reported on Tuesday. “Mayor Jacob Frey, who was booed out of a protest for refusing to support defunding the police, said the pledge was confusing and vague.”
That’s the road Milwaukee appears to be headed down, confusing and vague, and dangerous, Bormann said.
“We’re in trouble,” he said, urging Milwaukee citizens to call their representatives and tell them to stop the campaign to gut the police department.