MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett hopes 100 new police officers can help stop the surge in violence. Those men and women will come in two separate classes next year, with one class ready by early summer.
It's likely music to MPD Chief Ed Flynn's ears. He said earlier this summer you can always do more with more as the department struggled to keep up with constant violence. The budget also keeps 50 officers on staff who were hired in 2011 with Federal stimulus money.
They're also taking some officers who are doing crime analysis now and moving them to the street. They'll fill those positions with civilians.
Mayor Barrett also hopes the nearly $12 million he's throwing at foreclosed homes helps clean up neighborhoods. The vacant, dilapadated homes become sore spots and sometimes promote crime.
Barrett says coupling additional police officers with cleaner neighborhoods could help.
"In light of what happened this summer," Barrett said. "The violence we had, I wanted to send a strong message that we are going to keep a very strong police presence in the neighborhoods. We want to make sure that presence is coupled with community involvement. The police are working on a data-driven method but they're also working closely with community groups."
The Mayor also applauded the city's partnership with Northwestern Mutual for its new office plans downtown. He also wants to put money into improving libraries, bridges, roads, and street lights.
The Common Council will review the budget plan over the next few weeks and offer amendments. It needs to be finalized by November.