Wauwatosa mayor calls police union 'a problem'

NOW: Wauwatosa mayor calls police union ’a problem’

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As activists continue to march for police reform, the relationship between Wauwatosa's mayor and the city's police union appears broken.

The latest battle comes after the mayor took part in a radio interview with WTMJ.

"The police union is a problem, they feel all of the elected officials in Wauwatosa weren't sufficiently supportive of the police in 2020," said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride during an interview broadcast on 620 WTMJ.

That statement 10 days ago is the latest freeze in the frosty relationship between McBride and the city's police union.

Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association President John Milotzky sent a letter demanding an explanation and public apology for the mayor's comments.

He sent a statement Wednesday, May 26.

"Over a week has gone by and we have not received a reply from the Mayor," wrote Milotzky.

McBride stands by the interview. He sent a statement Wednesday, too.

"To date, the WPOA has not been a good partner with the Common Council and me. We hope WPOA leaders will begin to work with us," wrote McBride.

Milotzky also said the mayor has a history of making uncivil comments and suggested the mayor start wearing a body camera like the police department. He sent CBS 58 a video clip of McBride interacting with a citizen at a peace rally last week.

"I spent 24 years of my life working for the EEOC bringing discrimination complaints, you can go to hell," said McBride.

"He told me to go to hell, and I was like wow, this was supposed to be a Christian healing event," said activist Jill Ferguson.

She attended last week's peace event marking six months after the Mayfair Mall shooting. She said McBride didn't belong there on her social media broadcast and explained her feelings to him on the recording.

McBride said he lost his temper with Ferguson.

She said she doesn't respect him, or Wauwatosa police.

"They're all the problem, lets be clear about that," said Ferguson.

McBride was elected in 2020 to a four-year term.

He said he'll continue working toward change in Wauwatosa, with or without the police union.

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