13 Milwaukee Alderman ask Police Department to Review Pursuit Policy
A group of 13 Milwaukee Alderman are asking the Milwaukee Police Department to review its current pursuit policy.
That policy says officers can only pursue cars that contain a violent felon, or cars that were involved in a violent crime.
\"We have a pursuit policy that's considered state of the art and being replicated by other communities,\" says Chief Ed Flynn. \"It emphasizes that we will pursue people that represent a violent threat to the community.\"
Those alderman believe officers should be allowed to chase more suspects, saying it could cut down on the amount of crime in Milwaukee.
\"We want for the police department and the chief to do something about it, because what is happening right now is unacceptable,\" says Alderman Cavalier Johnson. \"I think you'll see a difference with people planning to disobey traffic law, because they know there will be a consequence.\"
Alderman Terry Witkowski was one of just two Alderman to not sign the letter, but says he's open to discussing changes if police believe they could be beneficial.
\"What we're hearing from kids is that the cool thing to do is if you get stopped, pull over, and once the squad is stopped, take off, because they're not going to chase you,\" he says. \"If that's the word on the street, than we definitely need to look at that policy.\"
The group is not requesting for officers to chase all suspects that flee, but instead, asking the Police and Fire Commission to give officers more leniency in who they can chase.
Chief Ed Flynn says the department has no plans to revisit the current policy.
\"We certainly engage in plenty of pursuits, there's no shortage of them,\" he says. \"And they result in apprehensions. So far we don't see any objective reason to change the policy.\"
The Police and Fire Commission did not discuss the letter at their meeting Thursday night.