I and the overwhelming majority of my colleagues wholeheartedly support the recent directive from the Fire and Police Commission regarding changes to the MPD’s pursuit policy. We applaud their courage and direct action in listening to the citizens of Milwaukee and quite frankly, doing their job. It’s high time the Mayor does the same.
You may recall some three weeks ago the Mayor told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he strongly disagreed with the proposal from Alderman Zielinski that state law be changed to allow the Common Council to fire the Police (or Fire) Chief. At the time the Mayor said: “Politicizing the operations of the fire and police departments is horrible public policy and would run contrary to the principles of citizen oversight and engagement.”
The Mayor has been missing in action on the FPC’s directive – quiet as a mouse as he seems deathly afraid of doing anything to upset Chief Flynn. I sincerely hope the Mayor isn’t playing the same level of politics he so vigorously condemned only three weeks ago (the Mayor needs to start taking his own advice!).
This critical citizen body deserves the support of the very people who appointed them.
Further, there is AMPLE evidence that the pursuit policy needs to be revised. There is rampant red light running and reckless driving happening daily on our streets, and just turn on the news and watch stories about car-jackings, robberies and mobile drug trafficking.
Chief Flynn’s 2010 pursuit policy has led to an atmosphere of lawlessness across Milwaukee.
It is high time Chief Flynn and Mayor Barrett realize what the Common Council and the Fire and Police Commission have realized for quite some time – that decisions made in 2010 may need to change in 2017 given the changing circumstances.