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Milwaukee Chief Flynn on pursuit and immigration policies

The chief joined TMJ4 for a 1-on-1 interview
Posted at 10:02 PM, Jul 25, 2017

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn wants to set the record straight on two department policies that have gotten a lot of attention.
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Last week the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission gave Flynn one choice: Change the department’s current police pursuit policy or else.

"I think we have the same interest we want to protect life and property and the city from liability. I fear the directive sets us up to take risks in all those areas." Flynn said.
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In 2010 Flynn changed the pursuit policy after four people were killed within three months by drivers fleeing from police.

The change was to only pursue drivers involved in violent crimes and those that posed a safety risk to others.
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The commission’s changes would require officers to pursue vehicles engaging in excessive speed, reckless lane changes, failure to stop at a red light and those vehicles believed to be "mobile drug houses".
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"The list they want me to create is a version of racial profiling, the God honest truth. What's a mobile drug house? A bunch of young men in a car with tinted windows,” Flynn said. “How do you define that? "
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Though the two still don't see eye to eye on the issue, Flynn says he is open to conversation before his Thursday deadline.
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"It’s my obligation to keep them from making bad public policy," he said.
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Modifying the immigration enforcement policy

Flynn has also been under fire for modifying the language of his immigration enforcement policy.

"Instead of saying ‘shall not notify ICE unless they are a criminal’ I said ‘shall notify when they are a criminal’ that is it," he said.
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He says he was mandated to change the policy and did so in June.
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"Our city attorney's office said our policy was not in compliance....It said we were too restrictive on when officers could share info with ICE," he said.
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Federal funding was at stake. Early this year the city received a letter from the U.S. Attorney General, warning if the city's immigration policy was not in compliance with federal statutes it could lose $500,000.
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"There was nothing I did that was not done with the full knowledge and awareness of the director of the fire and police commission, city attorney's office .... and keeping the mayor's office in the loop," Flynn said.
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Flynn insisted the change of language would not have changed the way police did their jobs. But two weeks ago, the fire and police commission altered the controversial language.

For more, watch TODAY'S TMJ4's Shannon Sims' FULL Interview with Chief Flynn: