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Repeat reckless drivers: At least 11 people stopped six or more times in the last year

Milwaukee Police
Posted at 4:15 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 19:42:58-05

MILWAUKEE — Over the last year, the Milwaukee Police Department has dedicated a unit to cracking down on reckless drivers. It has issued thousands of tickets, but for some people multiple citations do not seem to stop them from driving.

Milwaukee Police’s Traffic Safety Unit began in February of 2021. Since then they have written more than 19,293 citations, and 56 percent of those have been connected to speeding.

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“We give our deployment schedule, where our traffic safety unit is, we want people to know where we're at. We also want people to have an opportunity to tell us where we should be deploying our resources,” said Nick DeSiato, chief of staff for the Milwaukee Police Department.

TMJ4 News asked MPD for data on people who repeatedly have been stopped by police. Records show at least 11 people have been stopped six or more times in the last year. All of those drivers are men between the ages of 20 to 31. Some of the worst offenders are a 20 year old who was pulled over by police 11 times, and a 31 year old and 23 year old who were both stopped 9 times.

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Milwaukee Police could not say if these people were driving stolen cars, but they say it is unlikely.

“Each of those 11 individuals has either suspended or revoked license, because there are certain mechanisms that trigger your license being suspended. So even though the state of Wisconsin has removed the authority to lawfully drive, that activity is still continuing," said DeSiato.

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Nick DeSiato, chief of staff for the Milwaukee Police Department, talks about the problem of repeat reckless drivers.

Judge Dick Ginkowski, president of the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association, who presides in Pleasant Prairie, said for some people the ticket is just a piece of paper.

“The biggest problem that we have is people blowing it off. Not showing up, not responding to a traffic ticket. In this court, in this room we’re sitting in now, on any given court day about two-thirds of the people will not show up or pay their tickets,” said Ginkowski.

Milwaukee Police have considered suing repeat offenders in civil court. The idea has not been approved by the City Attorney’s Office.

Now MPD wants to amend their standard operating procedures for the ability to tow unregistered vehicles that are driving extremely recklessly.

“If you are reckless driving, you're speeding over 25 miles-an-hour or you are fleeing or you’re drag racing, and your vehicle is unregistered, we're asking the Fire and Police Commission to amend our standard operating procedure,” said DeSiato. “We’re trying to have a solution to this that is really driven from the community. Clearly citing people and stopping isn't doing so. We got to up the ante.”

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