Alderman Michael J. Murphy said he is grateful for the directive issued last night (attached) to Police Chief Edward Flynn by the Fire and Police Commission related to the Milwaukee Police Department’s vehicle pursuit policy.
Alderman Murphy, chair of the Judiciary and Legislation Committee, said the unusual step of issuing a directive to the Chief is meaningful for his constituents and other city residents. “I want to publicly thank the members of the Fire and Police Commission for listening to the citizens of Milwaukee on this important matter,” he said.
“The overwhelming amount of input provided to the FPC and calls for action on the topics of reckless driving, speeding and mobile drug trafficking have been heeded and the process of serious review of the MPD pursuit policy has begun. It is a complex problem but we must address it without further delay,” Alderman Murphy said.
According to the FPC, between January and May of 2017 there was a 53% increase in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents and a 160% increase in the number of hit and run fatalities compared to the same time period in 2016. Furthermore, between January and April of 2017 there were more than 600 vehicles every month fleeing from MPD during traffic stops, a number that has increased year by year, often in excess of 100%. The FPC states that perpetrators fleeing from traffic stops are issued citations for the offense only 20% of the time.
In April Alderman Murphy sent a letter (attached) to FPC Executive Director MaryNell Regan asking for a review of the MPD pursuit policy “in light of the current number of vehicle flights, mobile drug transactions, and more.”