Protect and Serve

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  1. Fewer seeking to protect and serve
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  4. Fewer seeking to protect and serve | Police/Fire | The Journal Gazette
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Submit your responses below. This is when former Police Chief Edward Flynn's term would have ended.

Fewer seeking to protect and serve

Flynn retired in February and the commission then appointed Morales to serve as interim chief. WUWM carried out an informal survey, by driving around town and asking Milwaukeeans what they think about police-community relations here. They do a really good job on the south side," El Rey co-owner Ernesto Villarreal says.

An independent survey released earlier this month indicated that most Milwaukee residents are somewhat, or very, satisfied with police.

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Yet many people, especially minorities, view the police through a lens of frustration, anger, or even fear. The city could be at a pivotal juncture, however, with last month's retirement of longtime Police Chief Edward Flynn, and the eventual installation of a new leader.

We also wanted to hear how officers view the issue. While it remains popular with residents, the program appears to be in jeopardy.

Protect and Serve

The federal government stopped funding the program last year. Only three of the seven Community Prosecution Units remain in operation in Milwaukee County, that is until they spend the last of the money allotted to them in previous years. Many urban communities are facing the same kinds of problems with police and community members.


Increasingly, police officers are the first contact for social services. The first CART team was launched in It has since expanded to four teams, three cover the City of Milwaukee and one works throughout Milwaukee County. One group on Milwaukee's near north side is taking action to reduce crime, improve safety and meet other needs in their community. The organization is made up of civilians who work independently from police.

Fewer seeking to protect and serve | Police/Fire | The Journal Gazette

They patrol, respond to calls and mediate to resolve conflicts, often in hopes that police don't need to be called to the scene. Fred Royal, president of the chapter, says, "Policing, just like any relationship, has to be worked on constantly. Milwaukeeans looking for solutions to a tense climate between communities and the police force could look to the city of Cincinnati as an example.

But the result has been that cops have been encouraged to adopt the thinking of combat officers. A combat officer's job is to protect the lives of his men.

IT: to protect and serve

He does that by killing the enemy. It's a brutal logic, but appropriate for the circumstances. Still, we create the world we expect, and if cops stick to this rationale, we have to expect to see more of these incidents, however you want to label them. In any event, the fundamental premise of this thinking is badly flawed, because cops are there to protect us, and by and large, ordinary citizens--the people cops mostly deal with--are not their enemies. The usual objection to statistics like this is the assertion that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be committing the sorts of crimes that cops encounter.

But if we accept that almost all crime is economically-driven, and not an outgrowth of some baked-in ethnic malignity, what they really show is that by and large, the non-white population in this country is poorer than the white population. So it follows that the real issue is likewise economic, since overall, the black and Hispanic populations in America are poorer than whites. To my mind, if we want to resolve this wave of racially-tinged, indefensible killings of civilians growing out of the militarization of the police -- on December 6, Phoenix, Ariz.

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