Last year I was joined by Council President Hamilton, Mike Crivello of the Milwaukee Police Association and Dave Seager of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association Local 215 in a meeting with Governor Walker to discuss Milwaukee’s public safety challenges.
One of the things discussed was the need for the state to increase grants for officers on foot and/or bicycle patrol. Governor Walker included exactly that in his budget and on Tuesday (May 16) the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance voted to move this grant funding increase proposal forward.
This is great news for the City of Milwaukee!
I want to publicly thank Governor Walker for making that important call, as well as President Hamilton, Mike Crivello and Dave Seager for helping make the case to the Governor.
Foot and bike patrol officers have been shown to increase better relations with residents (and the broader community) while helping to reduce crime in challenged neighborhoods. The officers are seen as guardians and get to know residents and business owners, and vice versa. Foot and bike officers establish important bonds and can build trust within neighborhoods – something that is badly needed right now across our city.
While we all were hoping for a larger amount of funding for these officers, the added state funding would increase grants for foot and bike officers by almost three times more than previously allocated.
One City Hall staff member remarked about the state funding: “It’s a step in the right direction.”
You bet it is.