Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he is in support of the 11 directives issued to Police Chief Alfonso Morales by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.
“I think he has to respond. We have the most powerful citizen oversight commission in the country. That’s what we’ve always had. It is important to respond to these things. I don’t think you can just dismiss them,” Barrett told WTMJ’s Steve Scaffidi on Monday.
The directives, issued last week, span numerous subject matters and include full reports and audits, from the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown in 2018 to the recent placing of activist Vaun Mayes into custody.
If Morales does not comply with the FPC demands, while meeting deadlines that stretch between this week and Aug. 6, he could lose his job, be demoted or be suspended.
Barrett said Morales has a lot of community support, but the mayor also asked Morales to come up with more detailed plans on reducing crime during a summer with a large increase in many violent crimes.
“I want to see a plan to reduce crime. We’ve got a 90 percent increase in homicides in one year. We’ve got a 60 percent increase in shootings in one year,” said Barrett, who also states what he sees as a need for better legislative funding support for Morales’ department.
“We’ve got challenges, obviously, with the state legislature. All the talk about defunding the police department, there are two groups who are agitating (that): The groups who want us to move the money out of the police department and move it into other areas, and then there’s the state legislature that doesn’t give us the funds to run the police department in the first place. It’s coming from both sides,” said the Mayor.
Milwaukee Police receives part of its funding from a source called State Shared Revenue, in which the state gives municipalities part of its funding for activities such as police and numerous other aspects of local government. City of Milwaukee budget documents say that adjusting for inflation, the state’s contribution to City of Milwaukee government through State Shared Revenue has been cut by more than $100 million between 2003 and 2020.