The Milwaukee Police Department released a statement overnight discussing recent concerns regarding police pursuits.
Read the full statement below.
In wake of the recent high profile vehicle pursuits, the Milwaukee Police Department is committed to keeping our streets safe and would like to address the concerns some members of our community have regarding police pursuits.
MPD takes vehicle pursuits very seriously. We understand that they are inherently dangerous; however, in order to make Milwaukee a safer place to live, work and raise a family, Milwaukee Police must apprehend individuals who recklessly disregard the law and place the lives of others in danger by fleeing from police and/or by arbitrarily driving reckless through our city’s streets.
Each sworn MPD law enforcement member is certified biennially through the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board and receives training in Emergency Vehicle Operations and Control (EVOC), where they are taught how to conduct vehicle pursuits in the City of Milwaukee. Each pursuit is subject to oversight during the pursuit itself and if a supervisor or an officer believes the pursuit is too dangerous, the pursuit may be terminated at any time. There is additional oversight after the pursuit is completed to ensure members followed the Department’s Standard Operating Procedure, including a review by our Internal Affairs Division.
Without an expansive pursuit policy, many criminals could avoid apprehension by simply driving away. Through a new focus on targeted enforcement of high value offenders under Chief Morales, we believe the application of our current pursuit policy is a major factor in the significant reduction in crime, particularly on violent crime and drug-related crime through the mobile drug market. In 2018, our homicides decreased 16% from 2017 and our nonfatal shooting dropped 15% (dipping below 500 nonfatal shootings for the first time in eight years). As of this press release, we have continued that trend with a 24% reduction in homicides and 23% decrease in nonfatal shootings from this time last year.
Ultimately, we understand that we cannot successfully do our jobs unless we have the support from the residents of the City of Milwaukee. There must also be accountability from drivers, from friends and family members who allow their loved ones to use their vehicles for dangerous driving and from the community as a whole to assist in investigating and prosecuting those who offend and put our neighborhoods at risk. We are in this together and welcome your support.