Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Good money-saving idea with bad timing in Milwaukee County

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will again propose allowing the Milwaukee Police Department to patrol Milwaukee County Parks:

Abele also said he’ll include a revised version of his plan to have city cops take over lakefront and other park patrols, a move rejected for 2013 by the County Board and resisted by Sheriff David. A. Clarke Jr.

Abele said he remains convinced the service could be done more effectively and at a lower price by contracting with the city.

“We believe we can get better outcomes and save money,” Abele said.

The plan Abele proposed earlier would have meant layoff of 27 deputies and a net saving of $1.2 million to county taxpayers, he argued then. Clarke and county supervisors said the move would compromise public safety.

Last time Clarke got the Marina Dmitrijevic seal of approval from the Milwaukee County Board who saw the fight as part of the long proxy war with Abele. But if County Board members, Sheriff Clarke, and Milwaukee talk radio couldn’t support the idea last time, how will the idea get any support this time when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is begging for money for police overtime because they’re overwhelmed by crime?

Abele is right on the policy. Actually, if anything the plan is too timid. Milwaukee County could live without a sheriff. But Abele’s just handing a political club to everyone to whack him like a piñata, and it’s doubtful he’ll make any progress on the issue.

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