At the Capitol, Republican legislators propose a package of bills they say will help attract and retain law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. West Allis Police Chief Pat Mitchell said it’s a complicated issue, but it’s been a tough couple of years, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“People who consume the news got it loud and clear,” Mitchell said. “If you’re a responsible parent, you’ve got a 22-year-old child, and you see that law enforcement is no longer honorable because of the actions of one – do you encourage your 22-year-old child to be a police officer? Probably not.”
Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) said the $25 million package of incentives and grants would be paid for from federal pandemic relief
“We’re confident that this is not only a proper use but a smart use of these funds,” Born said, noting that some of the challenges facing law enforcement are related to the COVID-19. Democratic Governor Tony Evers determines how those federal funds are allocated. A spokesperson in Evers’ office said he did not yet have a reaction to the bills.
Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) said Republicans had an opportunity to support an additional an additional $50.2 million in funding for law enforcement which Evers has proposed since taking office.
“Now, Legislative Republicans are proposing using one-time COVID funds to fund local law enforcement at roughly half the amount Governor Evers proposed since he was elected in 2018, and that Republicans voted against,” Hintz said in a statement.