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Milwaukee police union endorses Walker, state's largest police union backs Burke

MADISON -- Police unions give two big endorsements for Governor Walker Thursday, while the state’s largest police union shows its support for Democrat Mary Burke.

Thursday, the Milwaukee Police Association and the Wisconsin Troopers Association announced support for Governor Scott Walker in his re-election bid.

On the other side, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association announced it is backing Democrat Mary Burke. That union represents almost 10,000 police officers in Wisconsin, and is the state's largest police union.

Last election it endorsed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for governor, and has not endorsed a Republican for governor since Tommy Thompson in 1998.  Despite that, the union's executive director says decisions are not made based on politics, but points to a rise in violent crime, and cuts to police funding as the main reasons the WPPA is supporting Mary Burke for governor.

\"Governor walker has not been good for public safety and by extension has not been good for officer safety. Our mission is to promote public safety as well as the interest of the dedicated men and women who serve to provide it.\"   WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer said.

In an email, the Milwaukee Police Union president Michael Crivello wrote, “Our governor has demonstrated his understanding and appreciation of the important difficult task the men and women of public safety are exposed to on a daily basis – the Milwaukee Police Association is proud to continue our support and endorsement of Governor Walker”  

The Wisconsin Troopers Association also released a statement supporting Gov. Walker Thursday. The union's Executive Director Ryan Zukowski said, “It is clear that public and highway safety is a top priority of this administration. In placing high value on efficiently and effectively mobilizing a statewide police force, he has stood with the men and women of the state patrol to provide safer roadways and communities.”  

The Wisconsin Professional Police Association, which endorsed Burke, also announced its support of Republican candidate Brad Schimel for attorney general.  

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