MADISON – Rep. Scott Krug (R-Rome) is pleased to report that a slate of law changes aimed at supporting law enforcement departments across Wisconsin has passed the State Assembly with his support. “As a former Deputy Sheriff it is my privilege to vote for these much-needed items.”
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect their communities, but we need to support them,” Rep. Krug said. “Showing support for those who serve to protect us is a priority.”
Wisconsin currently has 13,576 law enforcement officers – the lowest number in a decade. Both retirements and resignations are contributing factors, with retirements in 2021 being up 45 percent and 2021 resignations up 18 percent over the 2020 numbers.
At the same time, crime is on the rise. In 2021, for the first time in four years, the number of violent crimes has increased compared to the previous year. Wisconsin in 2021 outpaced the rest of the nation with a nearly 9 percent increase in violent crime, and Milwaukee broke its homicide record for the second year in a row.
“My constituents understand that investing in our officers means keeping our communities safe,” said Rep. Krug. “The actions taken today aim to reverse the trend of rising crime and police officers leaving the force.”
The package allocates approximately $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to recruit, retain, train, support and equip law enforcement departments.
The package allocates approximately $25 million federal dollars to recruit, retain, train, support, and equip our officers.
Krug re Law Enforcement package January 25, 2022 Page 2 of 2
Highlights of the package passed today by the State Assembly include:
- Bonuses for new and existing law enforcement officers (AB 837)
- We will pay you for your law enforcement experience to relocate to Wisconsin.
- $2,000 for existing officers and up to $10,000 for new officers
- Fund and execute a nationwide officer recruitment effort targeting communities that have attempted to defund the police (AB 831)
- Minneapolis just rejected a measure to defund the police that received the support of nearly half the electorate
- “If you’re not welcome there, you’re welcome here in Wisconsin”
- Fully fund officer training and certification to ensure we have the best officers here in Wisconsin (AB 832)
- Create new, part-time, training opportunities to attract non-traditional students to the field (AB 833)
- Life shouldn’t get in the way of a career in law enforcement
- Assist small departments with costs associated with hiring new officers (AB 832 and 833)
- For overwhelmingly small departments that rely on part-time officers onboarding an officer can be expensive – approximately $4,500
- Assist with equipment (boots, uniforms and firearms) and pre-employment medical exams (drug testing and psych exams)
The legislative package now heads to the state Senate for consideration.