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Alderman claims city workers pack heat on the job

Posted at 6:21 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 19:21:26-05

City leaders in Milwaukee scrambled Wednesday morning to address a photo that went viral on social media.

The photo shows contractors working for the city and carrying guns while on the job. In the middle of a hearing on the issue one alderman made the claim this happens all the time.

This morning TODAY'S TMJ4 found out that the photo was taken on Nov. 30 and city leaders say the photo was taken for fun. They say there was no confrontation between those workers and community members.

Since 2012, Milwaukee’s had a policy that prohibits guns in the workplace but city leaders say the owner of American Sewer Services didn't know that.

The city is responding to make sure this doesn't happen again. City leaders say they're going to create a new law that applies just to contractors. 

As far as this new law, the policy prohibiting guns will also be written into every contract. In addition, city leaders also want to make sure sub-contractors know of specific consequences like contract termination if they fail to comply.

“Right away we want a resolution that prohibits the use of firearms when you are on city property and when you're doing city work," said Alderman Russell Stamper.

However, in the tense meeting lasting over an hour Alderman Bob Donovan said sub-contractors aren't the only ones packing heat.

"I know for a fact that there are city employees who for their own protection conceal on the job," Donovan said.

"How do you know that? How do you know, you said you know for a fact?" said Alderman Nik Kovac.

"Well I've talked to them," Donovan said.

Some alderman were surprised by his statements and say it's a violation.

"No they shouldn't be carrying weapons, city workers when they agree to be employed by the city of Milwaukee they agree to the policies that the city has and the city clearly has employment policies of no weapon carrying," said Alderwoman Milele Coggs. "I believe if people know of a city employee's carrying weapons, that it be reported."

City leaders say they'll get this resolution done as soon as possible. Of course, we're going to stay on top of this story and keep you updated with the latest details as we get them.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban met with the subcontractor Tuesday, one of the workers pictured was fired, and American Sewer Services suspended the two workers with holstered guns.

We're still working to find out why they had guns in the first place. We've tried to talk to American Sewer Services for the past three days, with no luck. 

The company's worked on city projects for more than 30 years.  And the company is currently under contract for other projects throughout the city, worth $1.14 million dollars.