PowerUp: Milwaukee Police rep Andrew Wagner

Empower Wisconsin  | June 6, 2022

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers’ soft-on-crime Parole Commission Chairman John Tate II is into freeing all kinds of killers, including cop killers, according to Milwaukee Police Association President Andrew Wagner.

“I can tell you that we’ve had petitions to Mr. Tate himself. He’s actually released two cop killers in the past couple of years as well,” Wagner told Empower Wisconsin’s M.D. Kittle on Friday’s Vicki McKenna Show. “We petitioned him to not release them. The families petitioned them. And they released those cop killers anyway.”

Last month, Tate was set to release from prison Douglas Balsewicz, who brutally murdered his wife in front of his young children in 1997. Balsewicz has served just 24 years of an 80-year prison sentence.

After intense public objection, Evers finally asked Tate to reconsider his decision. The parole board chairman relented a few days before Balsewicz was scheduled to be released.

Last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson sent a letter to Tate demanding he deny parole and keep Daniel Dower behind bars for brutally murdering his foster father, Joseph Vite, in 1985. Nicholson’s letter came at the request of the Vite family, who reached out to Nicholson with concerns over “Tate’s egregious decisions to let murderers back into society.” The Vite family believes the parole board is scheduled to take up Dower’s parole on Tuesday.

Wagner said the revolving door criminal justice system in Milwaukee County and its extremely liberal parole policies have badly eroded law enforcement morale. The Milwaukee Police Department now faces an officer recruitment crisis.

MPA President Andrew Wagner is our guest on today’s edition of PowerUp, Empower Wisconsin’s podcast.

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