Expansion of MPD gunshot detection program faces challenges

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by Tiffany Tarpley

MILWAUKEE--A proposed expansion of the Milwaukee Police Department's shot spotter program faces funding challenges.

Thursday the state's Joint Committee on Finance recommended in a 12-4 party line vote to get rid of a community policing grant program that would give the department $222,700 annually to fight crime.

According to documents from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, MPD wants to use the funds to expand it's shot spotter program, a system that uses senors throughout the city to pinpoint the location of gunfire.

Governor Scott Walker's administration wants to 'delete' this funding from the proposed budget because "it is a non-competitive grant/earmark. It does not fit with the Department of Justice's Mission: There is no similar funding available to other communities, it is  not a statewide criminal justice program, nor a pilot program designed to inform local law enforcement's policing decisions."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett disagrees with the recommendation.

"It just doesn't make any sense," he said.  "The shot spotter program has been extremely effective it helps reduce crime, it helps catch criminals and why the state is not willing to help us more is beyond me."

Barrett told CBS 58 there are other opportunities in the budget process to try and get the funding.  We reached out to the Milwaukee Police Department but as of airtime had not heard back.

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