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City of Milwaukee rejects $10M federal grant for 30 more police officers

Milwaukee police
Posted at 2:59 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 08:29:33-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Common Council rejected accepting a nearly $10 million grant that would have funded 30 police officer positions for three years.

During a meeting Tuesday morning, the council rejected 9-6 the $9.7 million federal COPS grant.

This comes after 60 police positions were eliminated in the 2020 budget, and 120 police positions will be removed per the 2021 budget.

While the COPS grant has been passed in previous years, it has become controversial this year over concerns of police brutality, following the fatal police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.

That leaves the Milwaukee Police Department with between 1,650 and 1,680 officers next year, according to reports from WPR and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

On Monday, the Common Council's Public Safety Committee approved the COPS grant, sending it to a vote in the full council Tuesday.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has voiced his support for the grant. He has yet to release a statement on the rejection Tuesday.

Ald. Nikiya Dodd made a motion to reconsider, so that the council would vote again on the COPS grant in January, according to the MJS.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs said she voted against the grants, citing financial issues for the city as well as the need to reform the police department, rather than add more officers.

The grant's rejection also comes as the city breaks the record for the most homicides ever this year.

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