MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Association released a statement on Wednesday criticizing the mayor and Common Council members, claiming they are not doing enough to address growing violence while dozens of officers leave the force.
MPA President Dale Bormann pointed to recent chaos over the past few weekends on Water Street as an example.
"I get a lot of phone calls from the officers yelling and screaming. Yelling and screaming at me because there's not enough officers on the street to help fulfill what they need down in Water Street. I hear it from businesses," Bormann said.
Bormann pushed the city to hire more cops, or come up with a plan to address the violence.
"It all falls in the hands of the Milwaukee police officers, and that's not fair to the officers," Bormann said.
The mayor's office sent TMJ4 News a statement saying:
"The police union is not correct. The Mayor has talked publicly about all the issues raised, and working with the Police Department and other City departments, is actively engaged in addressing the safety challenges. Milwaukee and cities throughout the country are seeing increases in crime and violence. We are focused on finding solutions to counteract the national trends.”
Milwaukee police data showed violent crimes are trending in the wrong direction, with year-to-date statistics showing overall crime is up 45 percent.
"When it comes to policing and hiring more cops, that requires money and he knows full well, the MPA knows full well, that the hands of the city are tied as it relates to raising revenues to do that," Common Council President Cavalier Johnson said.
Johnson went on to say the MPA should partner with the city and take that fight to the legislature.
As for Water Street, city leaders said they are working on plans to cut down the weekend mayhem. At least one business in the area said due to staffing shortages and recent issues in the area, they will close a few hours early on weekends.