His much-debated Act 10 exempted police and firefighters from the financial squeeze, but it doesn’t mean police — and the communities they serve — aren’t feeling the pinch in other ways.
- Caledonia’s chief has asked the village to consider adding 3 new officers; he said the community’s 29 officers for 26,000 people (1.1/1,000) are too few.
- The North Shore communities of Shorewood, Whitefish Bay and Glendale are discussing a merger of police departments; they already have merged dispatch services with many other North Shore municipalities.
- Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is aiming for yet another property tax freeze, and part of the plan to achieve that is an effort to shift patrols in county parks from the Sheriff’s Department to the Milwaukee County Police Department, cutting 23 MCSD employees in the process.
The FBI recommends 2 officers for every 1,000 residents in a community. According to 2009 data, Milwaukee had twice that number, with 2,403 officers for just more than 600,000 residents. Other communities varied widely, with some at the threshold and Caledonia an example of a community well under.
While every community is different, would you be willing to consider a property tax increase to beef up police presence, or avoid consolidation or cutbacks? Vote in our poll and tell us more in the comments.