BREAKING: Mayor Tom Barrett blasts Senate bill that requires Fire and Police Commission add union-approved members – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-05-11 19:21:14 –

Mayor Tom Barrett, presented in 2018, said Senate Bill 117 “clearly states interference with local affairs and is being promoted by the Milwaukee Police Association.” (Photo of NNS file by Edgar Mendes)

Mayor Tom Barrett called for a bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday, and the Fire Police Commission is demanding that members selected by police and fire unions be added to the “malicious attack on local governments.”

“It’s a direct shot to the municipality, so calling it” police reform “is a complete misnomer,” Barrett said. Senate Bill 117, This also requires union representatives to sit on a disciplinary appeal panel for firefighters and officers.

Senate Bill 117, one of the seven bills passed by the Senate on Wednesday, also banned the use of strangler figs except in life-threatening situations, required more data collection, and added protection for whistleblowers. I am.

The bill includes several requirements for the Milwaukee and Madison Fire and Police Commissions. This includes mandatory training, new hiring and monitoring protocols for chiefs.

“This is clearly a state intervention in local affairs and is being promoted by the Milwaukee Police Association,” Barrett said before the bill was passed. The Milwaukee Police Association did not immediately respond to NNS’s request for comment on the bill Wednesday afternoon.

The proposal goes next to the state legislature.

Others, including the Wisconsin Common Council and ACLU, have also expressed concern over the police union, which appoints members to the police oversight committee.

Senator Lena Taylor and Senator Van H. Wangard, who co-sponsored the police reform bill, Virtual event Organized by Milwaukee Press Club on Monday.

Oneguard, a former police officer who was the first member of the fire and police committee in Racine, said he faced opposition at first but was gradually accepted by other members. He said there was good reason to represent those groups.

“The idea is that someone with a background in the field, police or fire, can understand why things happen and see if anyone is talking about the whole thing. . ”

Wanggaard added that individuals must be away from their department for five years and the union offers a group of five individuals of choice for the mayor.

Taylor said African-Americans and Latino communities preferred to make that choice and did not fully agree with a union with five options.

Taylor, the only Democrat to support the bill passed in the 22-11 vote, said, “We have a board that gives us more information about what people are experiencing at the forefront of law enforcement. I’m going to help. ”

The Milwaukee Police Association and the Fire Police Commission have been at odds with the dismissal of former police chief Alfonso Morales and, more recently, a vote of the Commission banning strangulation in all situations, including life-threatening situations.

When asked if adding a union representative to the Fire and Police Commission could cause division, Taylor replied that the group was already struggling to find consensus on some issues.

“Our firefighting police committee cannot agree with the police chief,” she said. “I don’t think it will divide things any further. Hopefully it will help people talk so that we can find a center.”

Senate Bill 117 also expands the Commission from seven to nine and changes the rules for filling vacancies so that it does not retain members after their term expires, as it did in the past.

Barrett said the bill was merely an attempt by police unions to control police decisions to be made locally.

“We have screams and concerns about police union interference with disciplinary action nationwide, which would require police representatives to be involved in each decision,” he said. “It’s a malicious attack on the local government.”

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