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Milwaukee Common Council adopts resolution for model budget reflecting 10% cut to MPD

NOW: Milwaukee Common Council adopts resolution for model budget reflecting 10% cut to MPD

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday, June 16, unanimously approved a proposal asking the city’s budget director to include a 10 percent cut for the Milwaukee Police Department in a model budget.

The proposal now has 12 cosponsors: Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Jose G. Perez, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Robert J. Bauman, Alderman Mark A. Borkowski, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, and Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa.

Council members say this is simply the first step as the council will debate and vote on the final budget this fall.

Meanwhile, they say want to hear from constituents on what they want the city’s future to look like.

"This allows us almost four months to have a very informed discussion about how this city, how this community wants to see policing look like in the future,” says Alderman Bob Bauman, who represents the 4th district.

With a 13-2 vote, council members adopted the resolution brought forth by Alderman Jose Perez (12th district) which asks the budget director to include a 10% budget cut for the Milwaukee Police Department in a model budget.

"It does not limit us to the percentage reduction that is stated and I am certain we’ll see future legislation that speaks to percentages and fair allocation per department based upon the general fund,” says Alderwoman Milele Coggs (6th district).

Officials also addressed messages form concerned citizens who worry about what such a cut would mean for their communities.

The Milwaukee Police Department said such a cut would mean removing $29.7 million from the department’s budget.

Police said that’s equivalent to 375 police officers.

Council members suggest reallocating that money into community programs like mental health.

"I think we need to take a bigger global picture and look at what’s going on in our society, and not be so quick to say that we need the police for every single incident,” says Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd (5th district). “We have to look at organizations that help rebuild lives of individuals.”

At the same time, council members say they still want to give constituents the opportunity to weigh in and offer suggestions.

"We have an obligation to find out from our community what they think currently, right now, the Milwaukee Police Department does that they shouldn’t be doing,” says Alderman Michael Murphy (10th district). “And then look at that in terms of how those dollars will then be reallocated.”

The budget director now has 30 days to respond.

It’s only in that adopted 2021 budget in November where changes can then be made to the budget.

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