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Milwaukee mayor proposes cutting 120 positions from MPD in 2021 budget

Posted at 7:46 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 13:24:56-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett presented his proposed 2021 budget at a Common Council meeting Tuesday. It included some cuts to the Milwaukee Police Department.

COVID-19 has led to a reported revenue loss for the city this year, and additionally, there have been more conversations about slashing the police department's budget by 10 percent.

Many wondered if Tuesday's proposal would meet growing demands to "defund the police," but Barrett's proposed budget slashes the current budget by less than a million dollars.

Earlier this year, the Common Council directed the city's budget director to complete a study about what that cut could look like.

The study showed there could be a cut to positions within the department, and in increased reliance on community service officers and other structural changes, such as internal affairs shifting out of the department.

The $30 million cut from the budget would be used to support other community resources such as fair and quality housing, violence prevention and mental health services.

Barrett's proposed budget included the cutting of 120 positions within MPD.

"We must recognize that this entire debate is taking place when we have seen dramatic increases in homicides and non-fatal shootings in our city this year," said Barrett during a press conference.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Police Department is looking to increase its budget by more than 18 percent, to nearly $316 million next year.

The proposed budget is now heading to the Finance and Personnel committee for review. A public hearing will be scheduled for Oct. 6.

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