MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County District 4 Supervisor Ryan Clancy proposed 24 budget amendments that would pull funds from the Sheriff's office and instead invest them in Human Needs. In total, $11.3 million would be reallocated. Clancy is the only sponsor of the entire package of amendments, but each amendment does have at least one co-sponsor.
Clancy said the amendments are about investing in a more equitable Milwaukee.
"Equity is a central focus of many of these amendments, and really all of them. Not only in our green spaces and investments up stream, but in the Office of Equity, Milwaukee Human Rights Commission," Clancy said.
The amendments if passed would include funding for park and playground infrastructure, support for youth services like the credible messengers program, and paid internships is also included.
"We're funding internships so that professional opportunities aren't just given to folks that have the privilege to allow their child to work unpaid labor," Clancy said.
There are also amendments that would invest in addiction intervention and opportunities for people who are incarcerated and their families.
"We're looking at introducing a bus service to the House of Corrections," Clancy said. "It's really a matter of equity for many families across Milwaukee County that have folks incarcerated. They're not having a way, once face-to-face visitation is resumed, to get there."
However, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that pulling the funds could have major impacts.
"While MCSO has nothing ill to say about the specific initiatives that Supervisor Clancy wishes to fund, his approach will have the collateral consequence of forcing arbitrary increases in MCSO's budget deficit, and, in the long run, could contribute indirectly to dangerous staffing reductions," MCSO said in a statement.
According to MCSO Chief of Staff Theodore Chisholm, the department most impacted would be the Police Services Bureau, which could lose about 59 positions if the amendments are passed.
"That's a critical division that's providing patrol services on our expressways, responding to motor vehicle crashes, arresting drunk drivers and reckless drivers, and then it's also the division, for most of our year, is responding to our county parks," Chisholm said during the finance committee meeting on Tuesday.
Three more finance committee meetings are scheduled to discuss the proposed amendments. There is also a public hearing on the budget scheduled for Nov. 1.