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Referendum for More Officers Ignored, according to a Milwaukee Alderman

A call for more officers on the streets does not get the answer a Milwaukee Alderman was hoping for.

Now the opportunity to add a referendum for voters has passed.

The referendum would have asked city voters for permission to add 150 police officers.

Now it could be years before more can be hired.

The only way that referendum would be able make the ballot in November is if a special meeting by the common council was held Monday. CBS 58 was told the meeting would not happen.

Alderman Witkowski said the common council and the mayor had between August 16th and August 29 to act on the proposed referendum.

The only way that referendum would be able make the ballot in November is if a special meeting by the common council was held today.

Witkowski said the cost of adding 150 officers is around $17 million dollars a year.

He also said adding more officers is extremely important to help address crime in the city, and is disappointed that his proposal went unanswered.

"When I put it out, I was really taking the temperature of the common council as to whether citywide they felt like there was a problem that needed to be addressed. Apparently the answer is no,” said Witkowski.

The Milwaukee Police Association released a statement which said in part: "while we are in desperate need of more officers, the referendum referenced as a 'surge' is misleading.  there should not need to be a referendum and new tax to fulfill the promise a city has made - public safety is commitment owed to the citizenry."          

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