Archive for admin4Belling

EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee County Bans Trump Rally: Cancels Event At Mitchell—That’s Why It’s Being Held In Waukesha

EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee County Bans Trump Rally: Cancels Event At Mitchell—That’s Why It’s Being Held In Waukesha
By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

The rally featuring President Trump Saturday evening near the Waukesha Airport was actually scheduled for a site at Mitchell International in Milwaukee but was cancelled on orders of the Milwaukee airport director. The airport director answers to Milwaukee County officials, led by County Executive David Crowley, a Democrat.

I have obtained a copy of a letter sent Tuesday to Chip Zens, the CEO of Freight Runner Express, a private air service with its own large hangar and grounds on the airport grounds. Airport Director Matthew Hofman stated in his letter that the likely attendance of protesters was unacceptable and ordered Zens to notify the Trump team to cancel the event. Hoffman’s letter states that neither the Trump team nor Zens obtained prior approval.

So, President Trump now can’t even hold a rally in Milwaukee. This is the same Milwaukee County that planned to openly welcome the Democratic National Convention this summer, despite the certainty of protests at it. The rescheduled event is being held at 7 pm tomorrow night at a facility on the grounds of the Waukesha airport. That airport and the adjacent county fairgrounds and expo center have been the sites of numerous Republican rallies over the years. This time around, the Republicans wanted to come to Milwaukee but the Democrats are banning them.

Mark Belling
October 23

EXCLUSIVE: Supreme Court Chief Justice Barred Waukesha County Judge From In-Person Court Sessions Over Failure To Wear Mask

By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

The Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court barred Waukesha County Circuit Judge Brad Schimel from conducting in-person court proceedings for week and the order was not rescinded until last week. The order was a result of a complaint that Schimel was not following a Supreme Court order that all individuals in Wisconsin courts wear masks.

Chief Justice Pat Roggensack directed the chief judge for Waukesha County, Jennifer Dorow, to order Schimel to hold all of his court sessions via remote video. Schimel filed a formal appeal of the ruling, citing a medical condition that makes it difficult for him to wear a mask and pointing out that he had rigged his courtroom with plexiglass and enforced social distancing. Roggensack didn’t budge. Schimel agreed to wear a mask and the order was lifted last week.

The behind the scenes machinations here are fascinating. Roggensack is the leader of the Supreme Court’s conservative wing. Schimel was for eight years the Republican Attorney General of Wisconsin. Dorow, the chief judge caught in the middle of Roggensack’s snit over Schimel’s non-mask wearing, is a possible candidate for the Supreme Court in a future election.

Schimel has attempted to find out who complained to Roggensack but has not been given an answer. However, numerous court sources tell me this all occurred after the head of the State Office of Public Defender, Kelli Thompson, complained to Roggensack that Schimel wasn’t wearing a mask. These sources tell me Thompson was responding to complaints by public defenders in Waukesha County that Schimel was not wearing a mask.

Kelli Thompson is the daughter of UW System President and former Governor Tommy Thompson. In other words, this giant commotion over Schimel and his mask wearing has involved some of the biggest names in Wisconsin Republican and conservative politics.

The Supreme Court issued an order in March that everybody in Wisconsin courtrooms has to wear a mask. The order is unrelated to the separate state mask mandate issued by Governor Tony Evers. That mandate is being challenged in court and is headed to the Supreme Court but given Roggensack’s apparent obsession with mask wearing, one wonders if the challenge has a chance.

As for Schimel, he indicated his willingness to wear a face shield and put up plexiglass barriers throughout his court. None of that was good enough for Roggensack. Schimel has agreed to wear a mask and on October 5 Roggensack directed Judge Dorow to allow Schimel to resume in-person court sessions.

No word on whether Roggensack will be changing her name to Karen.

Mark Belling
October 9

Prominent Kenosha Democrat And Attorney Says He’s Voting For Trump Because Of Disgraceful Democrat Response To Riot

By Carl Holborn

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing this email to you to tell you that I am voting for Donald Trump in his reelection for President. Many of you will be shocked by this decision. I have been a proud Democrat my entire life. I have never been so proud of our democracy and inspired as when I voted for President Obama twice. However, the recent events in my hometown of Kenosha have caused me to make this decision to vote for President Trump. These last few nights hundreds of outsiders have descended on my hometown. These outsiders have come here under the veil of seeking justice. But, these outsiders are really just violent anarchists. They have firebombed dozens of buildings, looted businesses, assaulted residents, destroyed historic cultural sites and have committed general mayhem. Last year I travelled to Iraq and visited the city of Mosul after it had been liberated from ISIS. The destruction there was unbelievable. Now, parts of my hometown look like Mosul at the hands of these outsiders.

It has been very troubling the way the national media has covered this story. I have never been one to believe that the mainstream media had a bias that caused it to report the news in a dishonest way. As I read the coverage on CNN and the New York Times about the situation in Kenosha, the two news media outlets that I typically turn to for my news, I am shocked by the biased reporting. I know the facts and what they are covering is just not an accurate portrayal of what is happening. The lack of coverage about the devastating destruction in my hometown and the hinging on every word of Attorney Ben Crump is outrageous. I have never been a fan of Fox News, but I will tell you for this story it’s coverage has been spot on.

The mainstream media portrays police in riot gear who look like stormtroopers as some sort of occupying force. I know these police officers in front of the courthouse in Kenosha. I was involved in the process of hiring some of these officers when I served on the Kenosha County Civil Service Commission. These police officers are good people who are trying to protect their community. They are not racists. I believe they have shown unbelievable restraint. Then the media shows these outsiders who have been tear gassed in a way to elicit sympathy. These media outlets portray these poor defenseless peaceful protestors who hang around after dark, after curfew, and firebomb, loot, and cause criminal mayhem as some righteous citizens seeking justice.

I used to think ANTIFA was some boogeyman dreamed up by right wingers to scare people. But, I have seen people, outsiders, prowling the streets of Kenosha, most who are white, selecting soft targets and using complex incendiary devices and firebombing our city. I am not sure if they claim to be ANTIFA, but you know what – they look like it to me.

I would have never believed this mayhem could have happened in my hometown. It has a vibrant economy, good schools, and much opportunity for all. But this violent destruction has happened here. And if this violence can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

I have also decided to vote for President Trump after listening to Senator Tim Scott’s speech at the Republican National Convention. I am troubled by racial injustice. I grew up three blocks away from where Jacob Blake was shot, on the same street -28th Avenue. I attended an integrated Junior High and High School. I was the only white student on the bus when I went to Junior High. I grew up around and with Black people my whole life. Based upon my experience, the message I heard from Senator Tim Scott is a message that rings true as a way to bring about greater racial equality in our country. I strongly advise that you watch his speech. Here is a link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-XsIepfK7Q His argument for why he is voting for President Trump is persuasive

In so many ways I dislike President Trump and find him extraordinarily offensive. However, there are two old political sayings that ring true to me now. Every Democrat is a mugging away from becoming a Republican and all politics is local. I have not been mugged, but my hometown is being destroyed and you cannot get more local than that.

Governor Evers recently turned down President Trump’s offer to send federal assistance to help end this destruction. I think federal assistance would have ended this mayhem. Thank you President Trump for offering to help. Vice-President Biden has not said a word.

I am voting for President Trump.

Sincerely,

Carl

Germantown Swim Coach Says He Was Fired For His Political Beliefs

THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY TIM DAMICO, A FORMER GERMANTOWN HIGH SCHOOL ASSISTANT COACH.

I wanted to reach out to you since I believe that your organizations are the only ones that would care about my story and thank you for taking the time to read this.

I have been an assistant coach with the Germantown Girls swim and dive team for the last 3 years. This upcoming season was going to be my 4th. I grew up in Germantown and graduated from there myself in 2011. For the last 5 years I had been coaching club for 2 different private club organizations. In my time as a coach I have worked with kids and never once had a personal or professional complaint against me. On Thursday July 9th I shared a post to my Facebook page comparing the KKK to the BLM organization, not the statement “Black Lives Matter” because of course I agree with the statement, but the political organization is not something that I as a conservative can or will ever support.

Around 11:30 that day I got a voicemail from the athletic director (Sara Unurtl), at Germantown High School. I was at my full-time day job and unable to call her until later in the afternoon. When I did connect with her, she told me there was a post from me on social media going around that concerned them. She explained the post to me and I explained my stance on the post. She made it sound like there was some sort of outrage in the community about me and the post that I shared. Little did I know, this post was sent to each School board member and Principal Joel Farren from a single person that doesn’t even live in Germantown, they live in West Bend.

While I was talking with Sara, she mentioned other posts they saw on Facebook that I had shared or posted myself that concerned the district. Some of the posts were about the recent rioting and looting, most having firearm references as I am an avid and open second amendment supporter and concealed carrier. I always will advocate for responsible and legal ownership of firearms. I of course explained to her that I have NEVER had my firearm with me while on school property or at school related events. Regardless, she nor the HR representative that was also on the call seemed to really care. She told me that she did want to let me know they will need to look into this further and will be getting back to me as soon as they can.

A week later on July 16th Sara called me back. She did inform me that they will not be renewing my contract and I will no longer be a coach at Germantown High School. If I’m going top be honest, I was crushed, but not surprised given the world we live in today. I asked her to answer a question for me. I asked her if she had ever had any complaints from Athletes, Parents or the head coach, Lori, about my coaching. Sara told me that “You have always had great reviews and positive feedback, but we as a district need to be sure we are on the right side of history”. I came to the conclusion that I am being fired, not for my inability to be a great coach, but because my political stance doesn’t fit with the prevailing narrative. I’m a conservative gun owner who supports President Trump and I will never stop supporting what I believe just to save my job.

Sara asked me “What story would you like told when people ask why you wont be coaching anymore” I was a bit confused and asked her to clarify what she meant. She said that sometimes coaches would like to tell people they are leaving to focus more on their full time work or to be with their families. I said “No, if anyone asks you about why I am not coaching anymore, I expect you as an educator and school district employee to tell them the truth. You tell them that you fired me because of my political views, that is why I’m no longer coaching. You decided this, not me “. She seemed a little surprised by that and the conversation was basically over at that point.

I emailed Sara about 3 times before she finally sent me copies of the emails that I requested. From looking at the emails, I found that the district had decided they weren’t going to hire me back before I had even had a conversation with Sara about this. I will attach the PDF of those emails to this email for you to look at if you are interested.

It sickens me that these are the people in charge of our kids’ education. From all different angles they are telling kids that “you must believe this way, or you will lose your job”. “If you don’t believe in what we believe, then you are a racist.”

Given the world we live in today, I am not at all surprised that I lost a job with a school district considering that I am such a strong conservative and open about that publicly, but I did feel like I needed to make this known that the cancel culture is attacking more than just conservative TV or Talk show hosts. This culture is coming after anyone with an opposing view and we need to stop this.

I am more that willing to answer any questions that you might have for me about this and you are welcome to contact me however it is easiest for you.

Thank you for your time.

Tim Damico

MARK BELLING AGAIN NAMED ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL TALK RADIO HOSTS

Talkers.com, the self-described “Bible of Talk Radio” and the most influential website covering radio talk, has again named WISN-AM’s Mark Belling among the most important talk hosts in the country.   No host in a radio market in America smaller than Milwaukee was higher on the list than Mark.   At #55, he was one of the highest rated local talk hosts, in terms of importance, in America.  Most hosts ranked higher had national programs.

                Belling is one of only two hosts from Wisconsin to make the list.   He was rated higher than any talk host in Chicago, even though that market dwarfs Milwaukee’s size.   Talkers has been doing the list for over two decades and Mark has been on the list all but one year.  The only other Wisconsin host on Talkers’ list, #93 ranked Jeff Wagner of WTMJ-AM, got his start as a fill-in host on the Belling show.

                The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show has dominated Milwaukee afternoon radio ratings for most of Belling’s 31-year career on the air in Milwaukee.   The show airs from 3-6 pm on WISN-AM 1130 and numerous online platforms including iHeartRadio.    The show can also be heard in podcast for form.  Mark was a frequent guest host on the Rush Limbaugh Show for 18 years and hosted one of Milwaukee TV’s longest running local shows, Belling and Company for 18 years.

                The Talkers “Heavy Hundred List,” ranked Sean Hannity as the #1 talk show host in the United States and Limbaugh’s show is second.  Mark Levin is fourth.  Overnight national host George Noory appears farther down on the list.  Counting Belling, that means five daily WISN shows are on the Talkers Heavy Hundred list.

Fake Republicans Run For State Assembly In Tosa- Brookfield District

Three Republicans are running in next month’s primary election for the state assembly in the Wauwatosa-Brookfield area and are vying for the right to run against incumbent Democrat Robyn Vining, one of the most liberal members of the entire assembly. But two of the three candidates don’t seem very Republican at all and one of them is a Walker recall signer.

I reported two years ago when Linda Boucher first ran for the seat that she signed the Walker recall petition. A member of the Elmbrook School Board, Boucher did not win the 2018 primary for assembly. But she’s back again run on another non-conservative platform. In addition to being a recall signer, Boucher has also called for freeing repeat drunk drivers from prison, telling a WisconsinEye interviewer that alcoholism is a disease that requires treatment. It’s not surprisng Boucher is opposed to imprisoning repeat drunk drivers. Her husband, Peter Pagonis, has six OWI convictions, the most recent from 2017.

A second candidate in the race, Steven Shevey, says right on his website he’s not really a Republican and ran in the past as an Independent but knows the only way to get elected is to be a member of one of the two parties.

The third GOP candidate, Bonnie Lee, is a solid conservative and backed by many local conservative leaders. The winner takes on Vining in the November general election.

Mark Belling
July 6

EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee Restaurant Operator Championing Mask Requirement Has Extensive List Of Health Code Violations

EXCLUSIVE:  Milwaukee Restaurant Operator Championing Mask Requirement Has Extensive List Of Health Code Violations

By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

A number of prominent Milwaukee restaurant operators are asking the city to require the wearing of masks at all public places, even though there is nothing that is preventing these operators from doing it on their own now.

One of the leaders of the movement, however, may have bigger public health issues than COVID.  The Tandem, a much-praised restaurant at 18th and Fond du Lac, owned by Caitlin Cullen, was cited for eleven separate violations of city health rules at its inspection in February.

You can see the report HERE.

The long list of violations included storing a bag of onions a floor in the basement and a filthy ice machine, also in the basement.  Cullen has been one of the most vocal advocates of requiring masks at all bars and restaurants in the city.   Many of the other operators on the list have health violations of their own, including Ward’s House of Prime, Colectivo Coffee and Comet Café.

The Comet, co-owned by outspoken liberal Leslie Montemurro, is also calling for a mask rule and has occasionally posted signs banning police officers from eating at the restaurant.   Yet Montemurro’s place also has a juicy health code write-up including a notice for having toxic chemicals in a food prep area.

These are the restaurant operators that think you have to be required to wear a mask to be safe.  They might spend more time cleaning their own establishments before trying to pass rules that affect their competitors.

Mark Belling

July 6

EXCLUSIVE: St. Francis Parents Whose 14-Day Old Baby Was Savagely Abused Both Get Probation

July 1, 2020
Mark Belling

Here is the update on the story I reported earlier this year on the couple who cut plea bargains for misdemeanor neglect after neither admitted to being the one who actually brutalized their baby.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Fredrick Rosa sentenced both to three years probation. They will have to do nine months at the House of Correction with daytime release. They will be able to regain custody of the abused child after the three year probation period is up and will have visitation rights immediately.

The full story, with all of the background is below:

—-

Mark Belling
January 13

EXCLUSIVE: St. Francis Parents Whose 14-Day Old Baby Was Savagely Abused Cut Plea Deal For Probation, Misdemeanor Convictions

By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

Because authorities say they cannot prove which parent did the abuse, a St. Francis couple, whose 14-day old baby who was terribly abused in January of last year, will plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and avoid prison.

Jessica D. Groen, 38, and Tyler J. Lamb, 33, both of St. Francis, were charged in January of last year of multiple counts of child neglect after their baby was taken to a hospital emergency room with multiple serious injuries. The 16-page doctor’s report indicated the baby had multiple fractures, facial bruising and abrasions, oral trauma, abrasions to both palms, blood blisters and blood in the eye.

But prosecutors say neither Lamb nor Groen would admit to the abuse but both acknowledged they saw evidence of the child’s injuries before taking the baby to the hospital. Deputy Milwaukee County District Attorney Matthew Torbenson tells me he did not believe he could prove which parent did the violent acts and therefore can’t charge either of them. Torbenson said both parents adamantly deny abusing the child. However, Torbenson acknowledged their response were occasionally implausible including their insistence that the baby’s face was bruised at birth. Torbenson acknowledged that would be impossible.

The plea deal reached with Groen and Lamb has them pleading guilty to four misdemeanor counts of child neglect but neither will face any charges for the injuries themselves or knowledge the baby was being abused.

I asked Torbenson why he didn’t simply charge both parents with abuse and the prosecutor said that would be improver because he didn’t believe he could prove either charge because neither of the parents implicated the other.

The plea deal will include a recommendation to Judge Frederick Rosa that both Lamb and Groen receive probation and extended supervision, but no prison time. Torbenson said the parents will be able to seek custody of the abused child after the period of supervision ends.

Here is a link to a Fox6 report on the original charges from January of last year:

Headed to Trial, St. Francis Couple Accused of Neglect Abuse of Newborn Boy

Milwaukee Police Inspector Says Officer Morale Is Low Because They Think Nobody Will Support Them; Demonstrations Have Diverted Detectives From Investigating Violent Crime

June 23, 2020

 

For today’s Critical Issues report, PERF spoke with police officials from several cities about recent spikes in their crime rates.

Key Takeaways

  • Violent crime is increasing sharply in some cities.  In New York City, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, crimes are at high points going back years.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been a key factor in rising crime, for several reasonsJurisdictions released many offenders in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in jails. And courts in many places have been closed. That has led to a feeling among offenders that they can commit crimes with impunity.  In addition, police in some cities are less proactive in their enforcement, in order to avoid interactions with the public that could spread the virus.
  • George Floyd-related demonstrations have been another factorPolice officers who would normally spend their time investigating violent crime have been assigned to demonstrations. 
  • The mood in some departments is grim.  Officers are discouraged when they are blamed for incidents that occurred in other cities, and they feel abandoned by elected officials. Many officers in Milwaukee are retiring early.

 

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan:

We’re Seeing Increases in Crime Like We Haven’t Seen in a Long Time

For the first three weeks of June, we haven’t seen shooting numbers like this for a long time. In the last week, we’ve had 53 shooting incidents and 72 people shot. We have to go back to the week of July 4th in 2012 for a week like that.

For us, these increases started last year with bail reform, which emptied out Rikers. It increased with the start of COVID, when they released more people out of Rikers, taking its population down to the lowest level since the 1950s. Then came the George Floyd incident, the demonstrations, and the anti-police rhetoric that’s going on everywhere and has basically destroyed morale. It’s set off a feeling on the streets right now that it’s okay to carry a gun, settle old disputes, and start shooting at one another. We’re seeing people get sprayed at parties. Fireworks are also out of control throughout the city, and they’re masking the sounds of gunfire.

Our cops are unsure what to do. They think there’s no reason to do any quality-of-life enforcement.

We’re finally going to have a live Compstat meeting this week, for the first time since the start of COVID. We’re going to discuss these issues and see how we can adjust the way we police, because the amount of violence we’re seeing is unacceptable.

Working with prosecutors, we looked at 1,200 people on out of the streets right now who are indicted on a gun charge, and another 800 who have been arrested for gun charges but have not been indicted yet because courts are closed.

So there has been this perfect storm that’s swirled around us.

Chuck Wexler: Can you make a direct connection between the people getting out of Rikers and the increase in crime?

Chief Monahan: When it comes to total crime, yes. 20% have been rearrested after being let out of Rikers. We can’t make the same connection on violent crime.  But we’re seeing a large uptick of parolees involved on either end of the gun, as either the shooter or the victim.

There’s a feeling that you’re not going to go to jail. There’s a feeling on the streets right now that if you fight a cop and get it on video, you’re going to have a payday. So there’s a lot circulating through the agency right now.

Wexler:  How do you motivate people in this environment?

Chief Monahan:  You’ve got to be out there speaking to them. Get your message out. Remind them why they came on this job. You have to be willing to talk about the issues that they’re facing, and defend them publicly so that they know that someone has their back.  

Hopefully we can challenge some of our elected officials to stand up and say, “Hey, we need the police.” We’re starting to get some support, but we need this national opinion of negativity toward police to come to an end.

Wexler:  Why do you think people might be more willing to carry a gun now?

Chief Monahan: There’s an opinion out there that the cops aren’t going to stop them. There’s a feeling on the street that it’s safe to carry a gun, and even if you get caught with a gun, you’re not going to go to prison. That’s a narrative we have to work very hard to change.

 

Indianapolis Metropolitan Assistant Chief Chris Bailey:

The Justice System Isn’t Providing Accountability

We’re in the midst of an almost six-year increase in homicides. Last year we had a little bit of a reprieve – the number went down slightly – but it has ticked back up significantly this year. It really started in November and December of last year, and in continued in January and February. At the height of our COVID response, the crime numbers kind of levelled out, but in May, it blew up. As far as I can tell, there’s only one other time that we’ve had 25 homicides in one month, in November 2017. Going back to the inception of our combined police department in 2007, we haven’t seen any numbers like that. This month we’re right back where we were last year.

For a period of time, our nonfatal shooting victims and incidents were down, but they have now surpassed where we were last year at this time. We’ve had 217 incidents so far this year, compared to 200 last year, and in 2016 we were in the 180s. So gun crime has been continuously rising in our city.

Indiana is a place where people love their guns, and our gun recoveries have gone up over the last several years. We had 3,500 last year. Since the government has reopened in our city, one of our busiest places is our citizen services office where we process state gun permits. Since we reopened last week, we’ve probably processed over 1,500 people waiting to get a gun permit.

So there’s a feeling that it’s okay to carry a gun and it’s okay to fire it and our police officers aren’t going to be able to do anything about it. Some of that has to do with our response to COVID. But it’s the atmosphere that we find ourselves in right now.

Wexler:  What’s driving this increase?

Asst. Chief Bailey: A lot of it is related to drug trafficking. We’ve had several simple disputes that have ended in gunfire. We’ve had several incidents where people have been shot at large mass gatherings. We had a party over the weekend at an Airbnb that ended up with several people shot. We had an 8-year-old killed by random gunfire. We had a 16-year-old killed while in the car with her mom.

During COVID, we really slowed down our investigations through our Crime Gun Intelligence Center and our probation interventions, and I think we’re paying for a lot of that right now.

Wexler:   What is your strategy going forward?

Asst. Chief Bailey:  We initiated a multi-agency task force last year through our Crime Gun Intelligence Center that brings together ATF, our prosecutor’s office, and other regional partners. They’ve been doing a lot of good work. We have a focused approach on the people that we know have a propensity for violence. We get together every two weeks and talk about our nonfatal shooting victims.

But even when we try to do this focused approach on the people we know are trigger-pullers, we’re still outnumbered by them. I don’t think there’s a sense of accountability in our criminal justice system right now. We have a bond system in place where the judge doesn’t look at criminal history when deciding bail, so I don’t think there’s any accountability.

Our criminal justice system has been failing for many years. We’re dealing with kids who have had no accountability at home, no accountability at school, no accountability in the juvenile justice system, and now they’re young adults and aren’t facing any accountability for their actions.

We understand all those systematic things that lead people to violence, and we’re not afraid to try to address those things. But we also have to address them in the here-and-now, and we’re not getting a lot of help from the other partners in our system. And there’s not a lot of stomach for some of the traditional law enforcement tools that have been used in the past to address these issues in our communities.

 

Milwaukee Inspector Leslie Thiele:

Officers Are Retiring Because They’re Demoralized

Our homicides are way up. We haven’t seen these numbers since 1991. We have 86 homicides this year, compared to 37 to this point last year, so we have a 132% increase. We’ve had an increase since the fall, but it has increased immensely over the last couple of months. We had a couple mass shootings, but a lot of shootings tend to be related to drugs or silly disputes. We’ve had a big increase in domestic violence shootings.

We’re basically not getting any support from our Common Council or our Fire and Police Commissioners. They have talked about potentially cutting more of our budget. The attrition rate is very high the last couple years, and it’s going to continue this year. We have had a lot of people come forward and basically say they’ve had enough and retire. We’ve had younger officers who have been on for a year to 10 years, and have resigned because they’re not willing to put their families through any news stories that would come out if they were involved in anything. It has been difficult, and morale is low.

But we’re doing the best we can. Our officers are still out there taking their assignments, and some are still trying to be proactive. But, overall, I think the feeling is that they’ll do what they have to do but proactive policing is minimal right now.

 

Milwaukee Inspector Terrence Gordon:

Crime Is High Because Officers Don’t Have Time to Fight It

Toward the end of last year, we saw an increase in people getting killed over marijuana. This year, pre-COVID and toward the beginning of COVID, we saw a big spike in intimate partner and family violence. In the past month or so, it’s been driven by disputes. So it’s a combination of factors.

I think the fact that police departments in major cities are distracted right now is a contributing factor everywhere. It is definitely an issue here. Our department is distracted with politics, inquiries, demonstrations, everything you can imagine except serving the neighborhoods we come to work to serve.

Morale is terrible. But people don’t have low morale because of something the chief did; it’s because they’re afraid that nobody in this community is going to stand up for them. In 25 years, I’ve never seen it like this. I never thought that I’d see the day where a Milwaukee police officer would withdraw from the community they swore to serve. But I can see it beginning to happen right now, and it’s just terrible, because on the other side of all these crimes are victims.

I grew up during the crack wars in Milwaukee, but there is a wildness out there that I have not experienced in my city before. There are bullets flying everywhere right now.

Wexler: How are you planning to navigate through this?

Inspector Gordon: We honestly think that if we had time to do our jobs, we could get a handle on it. We haven’t stopped doing our shoot reviews every week, but our detectives were on the demonstration lines with riot helmets and batons for two weeks. Our police officers who would normally be on patrol were also on the line. I really think that if the city got back to doing what we’re elected and appointed to do, we could get a handle on this. I don’t think we need a new strategy. I just think we need time to do our jobs.

 

Las Vegas Metropolitan Captain James LaRochelle:

We’re Trying to Maintain Our Great Records for 2018-19, But It’s Difficult

We had a couple very, very good years here in 2018 and 2019. We also started off this year well, with a 30% reduction in homicides at one point, partly because we pushed our headquarters detectives out to the area commands 4 or 5 years ago to put them closer to the community. Sheriff Lombardo implemented a major case protocol for some of our murders and other high-end crimes that involved Strip properties. That went into effect last year about this time, and we’ve implemented it 20 times over the past year. We’re 20 for 20 in solving crimes where we had no suspect information to start. That also improved the next layer of detectives, who were assigned to some of our shootings.

We had two years in a row of solving about 90% of our homicides, and Sheriff Lombardo wanted to push that focus to shootings this year. We were driving down those numbers and improving the rate at which we solved them.

So we were having a good year, and then COVID hit. During COVID our numbers fluctuated in different ways. Our domestic violence calls went up. Knife attacks and firearms were bouncing up and down.

Then, about three weeks ago, we had a really bad week, with 11 murders in 10 days. Some of those were domestic violence-related. Our gang murders are about 22% of our homicides, and our rate of solving those is a bit lower. At one point in April we had solved 100% of our murders, and now we’re at about 80%.

Our numbers are really changing week to week, because different variables keep getting added into the equation – COVID, protests, potentially some morale issues. We moved cops to the protests from patrol and kept detectives focused on detective work. Our Violent Crime Initiative teams, which we usually put in our most challenged neighborhoods, have been pulled to the protest line.

We are seeing an uptick in violence here just recently. In the last month we were up 34% in robbery. Robbery needs a viable victim, viable location, and viable suspect, and, as Las Vegas has opened up, that becomes available.

We’ve seen a significant decrease in officer-initiated activity over the past month. Our person stops are down 28% and our car stops are down 32%. That speaks to how many patrol officers are attending to protests.

We’re still slightly down in violent crime year-to-date, but lately we are seeing an uptick and it is a concern. 

 

The PERF Critical Issues Report is part of the Critical Issues in Policing project, supported by the Motorola Solutions Foundation.

 

PERF also is grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for supporting this work.

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Shorewood Protest Spitter Is Walker Recall Signer, Donor To Village President

By Mark Belling, WISN-AM

Stephanie Rapkin, the Shorewood attorney arrested twice over the weekend after confrontations with protesters, is an activist liberal in the community who signed the Scott Walker recall petition and donated to liberal Supreme Court candidate JoAnn Kloppenburg and Shorewood Village President Allison Rozek.

Rapkin, when applying for a vacant seat on the Shorewood Village Board two years ago, bragged that she co-hosted a fundraiser for Kloppenburg, the twice unsuccessful candidate for the Supreme Court and a Madison liberal. Rapkin, at the same meeting, bragged to Village President Rozek “I got you elected,” pointing out the fundraiser was jointly held for Kloppenburg and Rozek.

Rapkin is also a signer of the 2012 recall petition aimed at ousting former Governor Scott Walker. It can be seen here:

Link