Common Council adopts legislation requiring MPD to get approval for purchase of militaristic equipment

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Common Council approved a resolution that will allow the Milwaukee Police Department to purchase crowd-response, crowd-control, military-grade and militaristic equipment during Tuesday's meeting, July 7. 

The item was introduced by Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and is co-sponsored by Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II and Alderman José G. Pérez.

“This legislation was birthed out of community conversations and a desire for the publicto know more about militaristic equipment and ensure greater oversight of the procurementprocess,” Alderwoman Coggs said.

According to a news release, the resolution states that MPD must obtain approval by resolution from the Common Council before seeking to purchase, requisition or otherwise procure military-grade equipment from the city purchasing director using budgeted funds or using special funds.

Military-grade equipment subject to this resolution is defined as any weapon or equipment typically employed by military entities in the course of armed conflict or for protection during an armed threat, according to officials. 

The news release also states that equipment intended for daily and routine use by a police officer in the course of executing normally assigned duties is not subject to this resolution.

“This is one small effort we can enact to provide more transparency with the public,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “I want to thank my colleagues for supporting this resolution and I want to thank those who continue to make their voices heard.”

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