Seven Republican lawmakers have written a letter to members of the Milwaukee Common Council asking them not to vote for Barrett’s budget. The letters was signed by The letter to the Common Council was signed by Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, and state Reps. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, Chuck Wichgers, R-Muskego, Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, Jim Ott, R-Mequon and Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin.
The letter states, “In a city like Milwaukee, which is consistently ranked above Chicago as the fourth or fifth most dangerous city in the United States, such a vast reduction in the police force is untenable. In 2017, the Milwaukee Police Department’s average response time to a violent crime was 24 minutes; our brave police officers already suffer from a lack of resources and this proposal will only make their life-saving work more difficult.”
Milwaukee Police Association President Shawn Lauda blasted the mayor’s proposal.
“In my mind, when you cut this much from the police department, there will be an uptick in violent crime,” said Lauda. “We will have more loss of life, more property crime. You don’t cut public safety like this. It’s dangerous.”
Barrett said this could all be avoided if the state would agree to allow voters to decide on a one-cent sales tax increase in a Milwaukee County referendum. That prospect is highly unlikely, if not DOA.